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  1. Updates on Thursday 23 February 2017

Live Reporting

By Martin Lewes

All times stated are UK

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Through the day: BBC Cumbria Live

We've now finished posting news, travel reports, weather forecasts and other reflections of the county until tomorrow at 08:00.

Some reminders:

We'll be back with an early start tomorrow to bring you the results of the Copeland by-election. Remember, polling is open until 22:00.

As always, if you have a photograph you'd like to share or you have news you think we should know, you can  email ustweet us  or get in touch  through our Facebook page .

Have a very good evening.

Cumbria's weather: Calming down

BBC Weather

Overnight the winds will fall lighter, and the rain and snow should clear. Although a weather warning remains, it'll turn largely dry. 

Temperatures will fall to about 1C (34F). 

Weather graphic

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

Travel: All Virgin services suspended on West Coast Main Line

BBC Travel

Virgin West Coast says it's now suspended all services. It's understood this is because of roof damage at Preston station. Tickets will be valid before 14:00 tomorrow or on Saturday.

You can find the latest here .

Grayrigg crash: Driver 'will not forget' Grayrigg crash
The driver of a train which crashed in Cumbria has said he will not forget it 10 years on.

Date set for second Poppi inquest

The date has been set for a second inquest into the death of toddler Poppi Worthington, a coroner has confirmed.

The 13-month-old was found with serious injuries at her home in Barrow in December 2012 .

A second inquest was ordered after a seven-minute hearing in 2014 determined Poppi's death was "unascertained".

Poppi Worthington
Family Photo

The inquest will start on 15 of May, and is due to last about three weeks. 

Key dates in the Poppi Worthington case

Travel: Virgin advises, don't travel south today

BBC Travel

Virgin West Coast is advising travellers to postpone journeys until tomorrow if possible. 

The company says that for at least the next few hours they have suspended trains between Preston and Stafford.

Public views sought on Market Place facelift

More artists' impressions have been published of what South Lakeland District Council officials would like to do in Kendal Market Place.

Kendal Market place artists' impression.

The authority says it has £200,000 to spend on creating what officials describe as "a high-quality, versatile space suitable for hosting a wide range of community-focused events and markets".

There will be a display on the first floor of the Westmorland Shopping Centre this Saturday, and on Wednesday 1 March, and in the reception area at South Lakeland House. The closing date for comments is 10 March.

Councillors agree 2.8% hike in South Lakeland tax

South Lakeland's ruling Liberal Democrat councillors have voted through a 2.8% increase in the authority's share of council tax.

The increase is the equivalent of £5 a year on a Band D property; Councillor Peter Thornton, the cabinet member for finance, said it was "a balanced a sustainable budget".

Conservative opposition councillors moved amendments which they said would mean no increase; council leader Ben Berry said: "Residents don't have to pay a penny more than they do now to receive a better service."

Grayrigg: Where the blame lay

The company that runs Britain's railway tracks, Network Rail, was fined £4m for health and safety breaches after the Grayrigg train crash .

At an earlier inquest , engineer David Lewis had explained how under huge pressure, and after months complaining about short-staffing, he'd promised to do an extra length of track while he was on an inspection patrol, and then forgotten to check the points that caused the crash.

David Lewis

Three track workers were initially arrested after the crash, including Mr Lewis; they spent months on police bail on suspicion of manslaughter, but eventually it was their employer who was held to account.

Today a Network Rail spokesman said: "Valuable lessons were learned which have contributed to the railway in Britain now being the safest major network in Europe. 

"With more than four million people travelling by rail every day, we are committed to maintaining this and continue to prioritise the safety of passengers, our workforce and those who come into contact with the railway above everything else."

Travel: West Coast Main Line reopens after flooding, but Doris batters flights and M6

BBC Travel

Virgin Trains says it will retain the replacement bus service put on after flooding closed the West Coast Main Line between Lockerbie and Carlisle for a time, to supplement the trains.

There are delays and cancellations at Manchester Airport because of the storm and passengers are urged to check their flights with airlines.

Police are warning of strong winds over the Shap stretch of the M6.

Cumbria's weather: Showers could turn to snow

BBC Weather

Further rain and brisk winds will spread south with the possibility of some strong gusts over higher ground and on exposed coasts. 

Showers and much cooler air will follow from the north west, with the showers turning to snow especially over higher ground. Temperature will drop away from a high of 8C (46F).

There are weather warnings for both snow and ice covering the county for this evening.

Weather graphic

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

Work starts on Carlisle hospital sprinkler system

Work is starting next week to add a sprinkler system to the fire precautions at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

Cumberland Infirmary

The hospital was issued with a fire enforcement notice in 2015, and a Cumbria Fire Service assessment found problems with the alarm system and substandard fireproofing materials.

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said it had "rectified those issues" and was not "further enhancing fire safety".

Severe disruption: A7 Cumbria both ways

BBC News Travel

A7 Cumbria both ways severe disruption, at Westlinton.

A7 Cumbria - A7 in Westlinton closed at the Westlinton junction, because of flooding.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Church appeals for cash to save bell tower

BBC Radio Cumbria

A medieval church in Cumbria urgently needs £70,000 to stop its bell tower falling down.

Hawkshead's parish church needs "urgent work" to preserve the Grade 1 listed building. 

Water damage to church window

The bulk of the money will repair serious water damage, and vicar, John Dixon, admits the fundraising places an "enormous demand" on the rural community.

Your photos: The sunny calm in the eye of Storm Doris

The National Trust upland rangers at Coniston were among those enjoying bright sunshine in South Cumbria this morning.

Coniston Water
National Trust
View more on twitter

That calm was because Cumbria was literally in the eye of the storm, the centre around which the winds circulate.

View more on twitter

Stronger winds were forecast to return around the middle of the day. You can see the latest forecast for where you are, here.

Severe disruption: M6 Cumbria northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cumbria northbound severe disruption, between J37 for A684 and J38 for A685.

M6 Cumbria - One lane closed on M6 northbound between J37, A684 (Kendal) and J38, A685 (Tebay), because of an overturned vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Grayrigg driver: 'I'm amazed more people didn't die'

Mike Zeller

Presenter, BBC Radio Cumbria

The driver of the train that crashed at Grayrigg has been back to the scene, and says he's "amazed the crash did not claim more lives".

Iain Black

Iain Black suffered a broken neck in the accident, which he says was the "worst night of his life".

He lay in the wreckage talking to his wife on a mobile phone, and says she's never got over her fear, when he fell silent, that he might have died.

It's beautiful Cumbrian countryside but for me the memories are nasty."

Iain BlackTrain driver

Margaret Masson, 84, from Glasgow, died in the crash. Her son, George, also returned to the scene, as did the engineer, David Lewis, who was initially one of those blamed for the accident.

My marriage broke down, I had to sell my house, eventually I lost my job. It's always there in your mind. It'll never go away. It's the night that changed all our lives."

David LewisEngineer

You can hear the interviews with the three men here and here.

Weather on the fell tops: Temperature dropping, blizzards

  • Temperatures at 3,000ft (914m): 3C decreasing to -3C. 
  • Winds: Southwesterly 40-45 mph with gusts about 60-65mph veering Northwesterly 40-45mph gusts about 60mph decreasing 25mph gusts 35mph later.
  • Cloud: Extensive hill fog above 1,640ft (500m) in the morning with scattered cloud at about 1,000ft (305m), lifting to about 1,950ft (600m) later in the day but lowering again in showers.
  • Visibility: Moderate or poor but occasionally very poor in blizzard conditions above 1,300ft (400m). Becoming good outwith showers in the evening.
  • Freezing level: Around summit level in the morning lowering to about 1,300ft (400m) by lunchtime.

The Lake District rangers' report from yesterday, when conditions were rather calmer, is here. They say anyone heading for the high fells today "should at first consider whether this a good idea."

Grayrigg: How overworked engineers failed to spot a faulty set of points

The 17:15 train from Euston to Glasgow on 23 February 2007 crashed at 95mph on track descending into Tebay gorge.

It had at least 105 passengers and four crew on board; one person died, 28 people were seriously injured, and 58 people suffered less serious injuries.

Points showing "bruise"

The train had jumped a set of points where one of the rails had come loose over a period of at least 11 days; this picture from the report shows the point of impact. 

Inquiries by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, and an inquest, found the final chance to spot the fault, an inspection patrol on 18 February, did not include a check of the points.

An overworked engineer forgot he had agreed to do two inspections that night.

You can read the full report here.

Travel: Rail services suspended on West Coast Main Line

BBC Travel

Transpennine Express and Virgin have suspended rail services between Carlisle and Lockerbie because of flooding.

Walkers urged to check weather after two rescues

Walkers are being urged to check weather conditions before heading out in Cumbria, after a number of call-outs for mountain rescue teams. 

Volunteers from Wasdale helped four women who'd lost contact with the rest of their group on Scafell Pike, England's highest mountain. 

Keswick MRT

On the same mountain, the Keswick team led a 12-hour search involving 70 members of various teams and a coastguard helicopter for a couple who'd got lost. 

Chairman of the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association, Richard Warren, said these call outs would have been avoidable if the walkers had checked the weather forecast and been better equipped.

You can find a weather forecast and report on conditions on the felltops here.

Travel: Roadworks cause delays on A590

BBC Travel

Roadworks at two points on the A590 are causing delays.

There are temporary traffic lights at Levens, near the Foulshaw nature reserve, and at Lindal.

View more on twitter

Weather: Doris brings rain and wind

BBC Weather

A band of heavy and persistent rain will move eastwards across Cumbria and towards the north east, with strengthening winds as Storm Doris moves in from the west. 

The main impact of Doris is expected around lunchtime and into the afternoon, with winds continuing to increase and rain turning to snow at lower levels. 

Temperatures are at their highest first thing, at about 9C (48F).

Weather graphic

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

The warnings are different in the north and south of the county; you can see more details and maps here.

Ten years on, three men remember Grayrigg

BBC Radio Cumbria

It's ten years since a Virgin Pendolino hit a set of points near Kendal, which had fallen apart after inspections failed to spot loose nuts and bolts.

File picture of wreckage
Getty Images

An 84-year-old Glasgow woman, Margaret Masson, was killed and more than 80 other people injured.

Mike Zeller at Breakfast has been talking to three men deeply involved from very different angles; the train's driver Iain Black, track engineer David Lewis, and George Masson, Mrs Masson's son (all pictured below).

Iain Black, David Lewis and George Masson

Travel: Wild weather, and problems on the M6

BBC Travel

There are 50mph speed limits on much of the M6, with strong winds on open stretches and very heavy rain over Shap. The car ferry across Windermere between Bowness and Far Sawrey is closed.

There are also problems on the M6 in two places; northbound between junctions 44 and 45 lane one is closed after an accident; southbound between junctions 41 and 40, around Penrith, there was a lorry fire earlier and lanes are being closed to assist with recovery.

Polling stations open in Copeland

Polling stations opened about an hour ago across Copeland for the parliamentary by-election, and will be open until 22:00.

You can see a list of candidates here.

Vote being cast

Welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


Good morning; we'll be posting news, travel reports, a regular weather forecast and other things that take our fancy from around the county, until about 16:00.

It's ten years since the Grayrigg train crash, when a pensioner died as a Virgin Pendolino came off the tracks just north of Kendal, and we're forecast some rough weather as Storm Doris crosses the county. We'll be reflecting both of those events.

As always, if you have a photograph you'd like to share or you have news you think we should know, you can email ustweet us or get in touch through our Facebook page.