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  1. Train slowed down as Storm Barbara blows in
  2. New housing money 'aimed at areas like Lake District', says minister
  3. Friday 23 December 2016

Live Reporting

By Martin Lewes

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Martin Lewes


Storm Barbara's winds are hopefully dying down, and we've now finished posting news, travel reports and weather for today until after Christmas.

Throughout the holiday period you can tweet BBC Radio Cumbria or get in touch through our Facebook page.  

Our service will resume at 08:00 on Wednesday, unless Storm Connor is a lot more serious than the current forecast suggests. 

Remember you can always get the latest travel reports and weather forecast for where you are.

Do have a very happy Christmas from all of us here.

Cumbria's weather: Less wind, less rain, and chilly

BBC Weather

It should become drier as the winds ease off tonight, but there'll be some wintry showers over the fells. 

It will be chilly with temperatures falling to 4C.

Weather graphic

You can find the latest weather forecast for where you are, here.

Parish council calls for housing sites

A parish council near Kendal's appealing for locals to suggest sites that could be used for new homes for local people or recreational or commercial developments.


Burneside parish council is drawing up a neighbourhood plan, which will also be able to establish general principles such as what new buildings should look like.

Burneside is the sixth South Lakeland community to draw up a neighbourhood plan, although the only one that's adopted and completed it is in Coniston.

Caravan owners given seven days to tow them off Barrow street

Caravan owners in Barrow are being given seven days to remove their mobile homes from a street that's been used unofficially to store them for months at a time.

Officers say parking tickets and other means have not solved the problem of large numbers of vans being parked in Devonshire Road.

PC Paul Williams said: “This has been a repeated issue for some time now, and the caravans not only take up space but create an eyesore for residents who have raised their concerns and requested action."

If the vans don't go within the week, they'll be removed by police and Cumbria County Council and stored at the owners' expense.

Conservatives welcome new housing cash announcement

Conservatives in South Cumbria have welcome an announcement of more government money to provide homes for locals in areas where second-home demand has pushed up prices.

Ministers are providing £60m nationwide; 21%, £19m, will go to the south west, but just under £6m will come to the north west.

The money will be distributed through local authorities. 

Councilllor Ben Berry, who leads the Conservative opposition on South Lakeland council, said: "I look forward to working hard with our communities and the national park authorities to make sure South Lakeland uses this new fund efficiently and expeditiously to benefit local people." 

Storm Barbara blows over with a 90mph gust on the Pennines

Cumbria's strongest winds according to the Met Office are now over the eastern half of the county.

So far the record for Storm Barbara has fallen, as it often normally does, on the highest station in the county on Great Dun Fell.   

The wind there topped 90mph.

About 100 homes and businesses are still suffering power cuts; at one point some 1,000 were blacked out.

Flood fraud man jailed for 'cynical' claims

A man who made fraudulent claims that his ground floor flat was flooded by Storm Desmond when he lived on an upper floor has been jailed for 10 months.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that Marc Anthony Morley, 28, first claimed legitimately from the Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund for clothing ruined as he helped out his neighbours.

He successfully made two claims totalling £2,750, for lost belongings and increased utility bills, but fund officials looked into a further claim for £1,300 and found his flat had not been damaged.

Morley admitted three counts of fraud.

Judge Peter Hughes said: "It was cunning and it was cynical, and what you were doing was milking the system."

Travel: Strong winds close A66 to high-siders - one already blown over.

BBC Travel

The A66 is now closed to high-sided vehicles in both directions because of high winds between Brough and Scotch Corner.

There's also an over-turned lorry blocking the road in both directions at North Stainmore.

And the Windermere ferry is still suspended because of the high winds.

You can find the latest travel news here.

Severe disruption: A66 North Yorkshire both ways

BBC Travel

A66 North Yorkshire both ways severe disruption, between A6108 and M6 J40.

A66 North Yorkshire - A66 closed to high sided vehicles in both directions between Scotch Corner in Middleton Tyas and Penrith, because of strong winds.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Storm Barbara: Maryport power cut blacks out 580 homes

Electricity North West says 580 homes are now without power in the Maryport area. 

Engineers are also dealing with a new fault in Holmrook affecting 302 properties.

Homes in Cockermouth that were cut off earlier have now been reconnected, but Seascale consumers may have to wait until 19:00.

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: A66 North Yorkshire both ways

BBC Travel

A66 North Yorkshire both ways severe disruption, between A6108 and M6 J40.

A66 North Yorkshire - A66 blocked and queuing traffic in both directions between Scotch Corner in Middleton Tyas and Penrith, because of an overturned lorry.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Engineers deal with power cuts as wind nears 60mph

Electricity engineers are dealing with a power cut affecting 104 homes in Seascale on the west coast, and they're hoping to reconnect 245 consumers in Cockermouth shortly.

The highest gusts reported by the Met Office apart from on fell tops have been 59mph at St Bees Head, just up the coast from Seascale, and 57mph at Shap.

RL: Town sign Widnes fullback for new season

BBC Radio Cumbria Sport

Workington Town have signed 20-year-old Widnes fullback Ed Chamberlain on loan for the 2017 League One rugby league season.

Ed Chamberlain
Widnes Vikings

Chamberlain spent parts of last season with Town's neighbours Whitehaven through the dual registration system. 

Town will also be making decisions on the futures of a number of amateurs who've been training with them over the next week or so.

Milk farm shocked by bacteria link

The award-winning South Cumbrian farm shop that's been linked to a food poisoning outbreak says it's working with the authorities to find out where the bug came from.

Milk machine at Low Sizergh

Six cases of campylobacter, a common source of illness, have been linked to the raw milk sold through a machine at Low Sizergh Barn near Kendal.

This morning Alison Park from the business told BBC Radio Cumbria: "The milk is tested way and above what's required but we've never been required to test for this bacteria so it's kind of hit us from behind and we're really shocked about it."

Mrs Park said sales would be suspended until tests were complete and the bug had been dealt with, which she expected to take about a month.

Carlisle Crown Court

A man who said his flat was damaged in Storm Desmond to fraudulently claim almost £3,000 is jailed.

Read more

Cumbria's weather: More rain and wind to come

BBC Weather

Rain will become heavier through the afternoon. 

There'll be gale or severe gale force winds, with highs of 10C (50F), but it will start to quieten down after dusk.  

Weather graphic

And if further proof were needed, here's the reading from a county council weather station on the A6 at Shap just after 11:00.

Shap webcam and weather readings
Cumbria County Council

You can find the latest weather for where you are, here.

Mental health helpline is staffed over holiday week

A dedicated mental health support line for Cumbria will stay open over some of the Christmas period. 

MindLine Cumbria, which is run in partnership by the five local Mind charities in the county, offers advice, support and information about mental health problems and getting treatment. 

The service can be reached at 0300 561 0000 and will be open on weekdays between 12:00 and 21:00, and on Saturdays from 17:00 to 21:00.   

It will be closed on Bank Holidays.

Waiting for Barbara: Gale force nine is a white Christmas for windsurfers

BBC Radio Cumbria's Jennie Dennett was on windy Walney Island this morning, and spotted these boards laid out ready.

View more on twitter

Minister says second homes money 'aimed at areas like Lake District'

A housing minister says the Lake District is "exactly the type of area" being targeted by government policy to give £60m a year to areas in England where there are high numbers of second homes

The money will be given to community groups via local councils for the next five years: £6m will be shared out across the North West.

It will be used to provide affordable housing for first-time buyers who are being crowded out of the market. 

Gavin Barwell

The government wants to make sure people that live in these areas have a chance of getting an affordable home."

Gavin Barwell MPHousing minister

Weather on the fell tops: Very windy with poor visibility

  • Temperatures at 3,000 feet: -1C, rising to 3C for a time. 
  • Winds: Gale or severe gale south to southwesterly, gusts 70mph. 
  • Cloud: Extensive cloud around 2,000 feet (600m) with patches down to 1,500 feet (450m). 
  • Visibility: Moderate falling poor in rain and hill snow and very poor in extensive hill fog. 
  • Freezing level: 2,500 feet (750m), rising above the fells for a time.

The Lake District rangers say winter clothing and equipment including snow goggles, ice axe and crampons are essential and walkers should watch the weather and turn back if in doubt.

Your pictures: A rainbow crosses Coniston

Sunshine catches the edge of a shower crossing Coniston, with the usual magical result, caught here by John Phoenix Hutchinson and tweeted to us @BBC_Cumbria.

John tweets as @Wainwrights_in_Verse, having written a short poem for every one of the 214 peaks in the famous Wainwright guidebooks.

Rainbow on Coniston water
John Phoenix Hutchinson

Travel: Accident on M6 junction sliproad

BBC Travel

There's been an accident on the southbound sliproad on to the M6 at junction 43 for Carlisle. It's partially blocked.

And heavy rain is causing surface water problems across the county.

You can find the latest travel reports here.

Travel: Windermere car ferry suspends sailings

BBC Travel

The Windermere car ferry has suspended sailings because of strong winds.

The latest travel news is here.

Cumbria's weather: A tad windy, apparently

BBC Weather

It'll be a very windy day as Storm Barbara approaches from the west

The main events are expected around lunchtime: We'll see outbreaks of rain slowly spread southwards, the rain patchy at first but becoming heavier throughout the afternoon. 

This afternoon, there'll be gale or severe gale force winds, with temperatures of 10C (50F). 

Weather graphic

You can find the latest weather forecast for where you are, here.

Christmas collars catch constable's eye

Martin Lewes


Normally Barrow police patrols are tweeting about drinking and driving, that sort of thing.

But this is the festive season, after all...

View more on twitter
Raw milk

A food poisoning outbreak is linked to the sale of raw milk at a farm in Kendal in Cumbria

Read more

Storm Barbara set to blow in for lunchtime

Martin Lewes


The latest forecasts say Storm Barbara's likely to be at its (her?) strongest from lunchtime.

View more on twitter

The main impact is expected to be winds gusting up to 70mph, and rain will be intense for a while, but it isn't expected to bring widespread flooding.

Train companies on the West Coast Main Line have already announced they'll be observing a 50mph speed limit between 12:00 and 18:00.

We'll bring you more throughout the day.

Travel: Trains slow down for Storm Barbara

BBC Travel

Virgin Trains and Scotrail are both preparing to bring in 50mph speed limits for parts of the day when the gales are expected to peak.

On the West Coast Mail Line between 12:00 and 18:00 this will affect Virgin servces throughout the county.

You can find the latest travel news here.

Good morning: This is BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We'll be posting news, travel reports, a regular weather forecast including any updates on Storm Barbara, and one or two other things as they take our fancy from around the county.

If you have a picture to share or some news you think we should know about, you can email ustweet us or get in touch through our Facebook page