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  1. Transport secretary announces Cumbria road schemes
  2. Parents protest as students miss out on academy places
  3. West Cumbria maternity decision 'just a one-year reprieve'
  4. Girl in Whitehaven bus crash 'stable'
  5. Hunt is on for hawfinches in South Cumbria
  6. Thursday 9 March 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Through the day: BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We've now finished posting news, travel updates and a regular weather forecast, plus a few other gems from round the county, for today.

Here's a reminder: 

We'll be back to do it again from 08:00 tomorrow. You can join in; if you have a photograph you'd like to share or you have news you think we should know, you can  email us ,   tweet us  or get in touch  through our Facebook page .

Have a very good evening.

Watch: Community rallies round to help young Ella

Personal trainer Dan Graham is part of a big community effort to raise money to help a little girl who's literally one in 12 million.

Ella Gale, who's three and from Carlisle, has Lissencephaly and needs special equipment. Dan's planning a sponsored fell-walk to raise money.

Mountain challenge to raise money for girl with rare brain condition

Rail firm plans 300 bus services on strike day

The train company Northern says it'll be running 300 bus services across the north of England to replace trains that don't run on Monday because of a strike by members of the RMT union.

The firm said it also hoped to run nearly 1,000 train services, although there would be a revised timetable, and Northern rail tickets would also be accepted on Arriva buses.

The union accused the company of "bending" safety rules to run the revised timetable.

Shepherd's magic means orphan lamb can find a new mum

Martin Lewes


It's lambing time, and every shepherd will face the problem of lambs or ewes dying during the dangerous process of birth.

Hannah Jackson, 24, a first-generation farmer who fell in love with shepherding on a holiday in the Lake District and has already gained a following in the hard world of fell-farming, tweets as @redshepherdess.

She has just told her 7,000 followers how you get a ewe to adopt an orphan lamb.

View more on twitter

It involves birthing another ewe, which is only having one lamb, into a bucket with the orphan, so both lambs smell the same. 

Some sleight of hand, the ewe turns round, and finds, rather to her surprise, that she's got "twins"!

Theft charge dropped as bookie says it's 'not sure' money was stolen

A manager charged with theft from the bookmaking giant, Ladbrokes, has been cleared after the firm concluded it couldn't be sure money had actually been stolen.

Robert Hughes, 28, had denied stealing £1,600 while working for the firm in Penrith last September, Carlisle Crown Court heard. 

Today Judge Peter Davies was told the company had concluded it couldn't be sure either that money had been stolen of that if it had, Mr Hughes was responsible.

Mr Hughes' solicitor, Mark Shepherd, said: "He's glad this is over."

Judge Davies found Mr Hughes not guilty, and said he'd asked Ladbrokes for a written explanation. 

Minister says dual carriageway A595 will come in sections

The transport minister Chris Grayling has said he does want to see the A595 between Carlisle and west Cumbria made into a dual carriageway, but it will have to be done bit by bit.

Road sign

Speaking on a visit to the county to announce improvements at two roundabouts near Great Clifton, Mr Grayling said fitting a larger road into the landscape might be difficult but there was a case to do it.

"There will be places that will be quite difficult to dual, but what we've got to make sure is that this is a road that is fit for purpose," he said. 

Cumbria's weather: A chilly night, cloudy later

BBC Weather

It will be a dry, clear and chilly start to the night. However, it will turn cloudier later with some light patchy rain or drizzle arriving towards dawn, and temperatures falling to about 4C (39F)

Weather graphic

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

Cumbrian politicians say A595 road schemes 'don't go far enough'

Adam Powell

Journalist, BBC Radio Cumbria

Two leading Cumbrian politicians say road schemes on the main route from Carlisle to west Cumbrian must be just the first step. 

Cumbria County Council's Labour leader Stewart Young and Mike Starkie, the independent Mayor of Copeland, were speaking after the transport minister, Chris Grayling, announced plans to upgrade two roundabouts near Great Clifton.

View more on twitter

Mayor Starkie said: "These new monies are I trust a first step and the start of things to come.

"I would like to see a clear plan of action and a timeline attached to that plan that addresses the priority areas and particularly the need for a Whitehaven relief road to address the high volumes of traffic that travel to and from the nuclear industry."

Man who abused teenager jailed for three years

A father-of-three has been jailed after he admitted four charges of sexual activity with a child under 16.

Jack Mitchell, 27, of Abbey Street in Carlisle, committed the offences on a teenage girl over several months last year, the city's crown court heard. 

He was jailed for three years and ordered to sign the sex offenders' register.

He was also banned from working with children or vulnerable adults indefinitely and made a subject of a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.

Cottage hospital beds 'won't close immediately', says health boss

Overnight beds in Cumbrian cottage hospitals will stay in use until alternative provision has been made, according to the woman who runs the trust.

Alston campaigners

The Cumbrian clinical commissioning group agreed yesterday to back proposals by the Cumbria Success Regime to provide only day services from hospitals in Wigton, Alston and Maryport.

Claire Molloy, who's chief executive of the partnership trust which runs the hospitals, said care at home was often a better alternative to staying in a small hospital.

But she said her team was working with campaigners to develop those services: "We will not be making any changes to current services until we've got some confidence."

Hunt on for Cumbrian castle hawfinches that go wandering

People in Cumbria are being asked to look out for a bird that in Cumbria is usually only seen at a country estate near Kendal. 

John Hannah

The Hawfinch Recovery Project has been set up to discover more about the birds' lifestyle, and use the information to try to increase their numbers by providing habitats that they like. 

At the moment, the only place in Cumbria that they're regularly spotted is at Sizergh Castle.  

Sightings elsewhere should be reported to 

Transport Secretary announces £2.6m for A66 and A595 roundabout projects

Transport Secretary Chris Graying was at Great Clifton, near Workington this lunchtime, announcing two road projects designed to speed up traffic on the A595 and A66.

Chris Grayling

Highways England will be spending £1.6m improving a roundabout at Great Clifton, and £1m on the Fitz roundabout.

The two schemes, due to start in a year's time, are part of a more than £109m package he announced following the budget yesterday.  

They include schemes to upgrade parts of the A69 between Hexham and Newcastle to create a continuous dual carriageway.

Travel: A592 work to end ahead of schedule

BBC News Travel

Earlier we mentioned that the A592 was closed for drainage work and resurfacing at the nothern end of Ullswater, until March 27.

A Cumbria Highways spokesman now says the work is ahead of schedule and will be finished tomorrow.

Parents protest as youngsters miss out on academy places

Some parents in west Cumbria whose children have not been given places at their preferred secondary school say they are the victims of "rural discrimination".

Only a third of all year six pupils at Gosforth, Eskdale and Seascale primary schools got a place at their catchment school, the West Lakes Academy in Egremont, and some of the rejected pupils already have older siblings at the school.

The West Lakes Academy has issued a statement saying it was over-subscribed, and that the criteria set out in its admissions policy had been rigorously applied.

Seascale school

Jen Norman's daughter is one of the pupils at Seascale School (pictured) who has been told she can't go to the academy this September, and she must go to Millom instead.

Sje said: "As good as Millom is, the travelling will be detrimental to their learning, because they will be so tired; we're not as accessible to Millom as we are to the north."

Cumbria's weather: Mostly dry and fine

BBC Weather

We're promised a mostly fine and dry afternoon with some decent bright or sunny spells. The wind should ease later and temperatures could reach 11C (52F).

Weather graphic

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

Severe accident: A595 Cumbria both ways

BBC News Travel

A595 Cumbria both ways severe accident, between Springfield Road and Mirehouse Road.

A595 Cumbria - A595 Springfield Road in Bigrigg blocked and very slow traffic in both directions between the Springfield Road junction and the Mirehouse Road junction, because of an accident involving three vehicles, debris on the road and an oil spillage.

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

Firefighters rescue man from river

Firefighters rescued a man from the River Eden at Wetheral viaduct yesterday afternoon.

He was flown to the Royal Victoria Infirmary at Newcastle, where his condition was said to be stable on arrival.

Hospitals row: MPs urge more effort to bring clinical staff to west Cumbria

BBC Cumbria

West Cumbria's MPs are both calling for renewed efforts to bring medical staff to West Cumbria, after a stay of execution for consultant-led maternity services at Whitehaven's hospital .

Trudy Harrison
Conservative Party

Moves to have only a stand-alone midwife-led unit, and to reduce other services such as overnight beds in cottage hospitals, have been blamed on difficulties hiring enough staff.

Trudy Harrison, the newly-elected Conservative MP for Copeland (pictured), said she believed far more could be done to attract the necessary consultants, anaesthetists and other staff to the area.

Promoting that it's a 12-month reprieve isn't particularly helpful to recruit staff."

Trudy HarrisonConservative MP for Copeland

But Sue Hayman, the Labour MP for neighbouring Workington, said: "We could go out to universities to encourage students who are graduating to come here, we could have an 'Isn't West Cumbria fabulous' campaign, which we haven't done. There is much more we could do to be proactive about it."

Travel: Diversion as Ullswater lakeside road closed for repairs

BBC News Travel

The A592 along the shore of Ullswater is closed until 27 March for drainage work and resurfacing.

The stretch affected is north from Aira Force to Knotts Hill, and there's a diversion via the A5091 and the A66, via Troutbeck.

Hospital boss concedes: Whitehaven maternity consultants probably won't last

Hospital managers say there's still a question mark over the future of maternity services at West Cumbria's hospital.

The Success Regime, set up to find ways of improving health services in North, West and East Cumbria, had said perrmanent consultants couldn't be recruited to keep the unit going , and recommended just a midwife-led unit at the West Cumberland Infirmary.

After a local outcry, yesterday the county's clinical commissoning group decided to keep the service for 12 months . to see if it can prove viable. 

Stephen Eames

But the chief executive of the North Cumbria Hospitals Trust, Stephen Eames, says consultant-led maternity care in Whitehaven will probably not be viable in the long term.  

All of the experts think it's highly unlikely that we can get the sort of infrastructure we need to maintain services long-term."

Stephen Eames North Cumbria Hospitals Trust chief executive

Weather on the fell tops: Windy with a little mist

Temperatures at 3,000ft: 1C. 

Winds: Fresh or strong west to southwesterly, gusts 45mph, moderating by early afternoon. 

Cloud: Patchy cloud around 1,600ft. 

Visibility: Good, locally poor in hill fog patches. 

Freezing level: Just above the summits.

The Lake District rangers who report on conditions up there say a lot of snow has melted but ice axe and crampons are still essential above the snowline.

Girl in Whitehaven bus accident 'stable' in Liverpool hospital

An 11-year-old girl who suffered head injuries when she was hit by a bus yesterday in Whitehaven, is said to be in a stable condition in the Alder Hey children's hospital in Liverpool.

The girl was flown to the hospital by air ambulance after the accident in Sneckyeat Road just after 16:00.

Before evening service, chef takes a break to watch the sunset

Chef Nick Martin's been working at some of the Lake District's top hotels for years, but he still hasn't got bored of his surroundings...

View more on twitter

Cumbria's weather: A few showers, then a fine day

BBC Weather

There will  be a couple of early showers on a brisk wind, but it should turn into a mostly fine and dry day with some decent bright/sunny spells, with maximum temperatures of 11C (52F).

Weather graphic

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

Workington mum says maternity decision is 'just to keep us quiet'

A decision to keep consultant-led maternity service at Whitehaven's hospital for another 12 months is "not a victory", according to campaigners. 

West Cumberland Hospital sign

The Success Regime, which was set up to come up with ways of improving health services in North, West and East Cumbria, had wanted to get rid of consultant-led maternity care at Whitehaven's hospital. 

But, at a meeting yesterday, the county's clinical commissioning group decided to keep the service for 12 months , to see if staff recruitment could be improved enough to make sure the service is reliable.

At the same time, a midwife-led unit is being developed, which will take over on its own if recruitment doesn't improve.

I think in the end they will get rid of the consultants. I think it's to make it easier for them and to quieten us down."

Andrea Murray from Workington Mother whose baby was saved by an emergency C-section at West Cumberland Hospital

Travel: Roadworks slow the commuters on A590 and A595

BBC News Travel

We've just the usual roadworks to contend with this morning: 

  • On the A595 on Egremont, around the Hardgates Road area at Yeorton Brow.
  • And between Ulverston and Barrow, where there are temporary traffic lights while work continues to reduce flooding in the Lindal Dip.

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 18:00.

High in the list of priorities,  the changes in health services for a huge swathe of Cumbria are sinking in, and still causing controversy.

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  .