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  1. Key updates on Friday 24 May

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. North makes rail investment plea to next PM

    HS2 artist's impression

    The UK's next prime minister has been urged to end "damaging uncertainty" by giving their backing to HS2 lines north of the Midlands and a new line linking Liverpool with Hull.

    Council leaders and elected mayors have jointly addressed a letter to each of the candidates in the Conservative Party leadership race to seek clear commitment to the projects.

    HS2 proposed route map

    Only the first phase of the £56bn HS2 project between London and Birmingham has so far been approved and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is being urged to win over sceptics before parliament debates links to Manchester and Leeds next year.

    The government is considering plans for the £39bn east-west Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) line, dubbed the "Crossrail of the North".

    The letter said it was "only through the full delivery of both HS2 and NPR that the North can see truly transformative benefit".

  2. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire southbound

    BBC News Travel

    M6 Cheshire southbound severe disruption, from J19 for A556 to J18 for A54 Middlewich Road Middlewich.

    M6 Cheshire - One lane closed on M6 southbound from J19, A556 (Knutsford) to J18, A54 (Middlewich), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

  3. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M61 Greater Manchester northbound

    BBC News Travel

    M61 Greater Manchester northbound severe disruption, from J5 for A58 Snydale Way to J6 for A6027 De Havilland Way.

    M61 Greater Manchester - One lane closed on M61 northbound from J5, A58 (Westhoughton) to J6, A6027 (Horwich), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

  4. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M6 Lancashire southbound

    BBC News Travel

    M6 Lancashire southbound severe disruption, from J28 for B5256 Leyland Way to J27 for A5209 Crow Orchard Road.

    M6 Lancashire - One lane blocked on M6 southbound from J28, B5256 (Leyland) to J27, A5209 (Standish), because of vehicle having a tyre change. Traffic is coping well.

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

  5. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M6 Greater Manchester northbound

    BBC News Travel

    M6 Greater Manchester northbound severe disruption, from J27 for A5209 Crow Orchard Road to J28 for B5256 Leyland Way.

    M6 Greater Manchester - Ladders on the road on M6 northbound from J27, A5209 (Standish) to J28, B5256 (Leyland). Traffic is coping well.

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

  6. Yousef Makki death: Murder accused admits possessing knife

    A 17-year-old boy accused of murdering a grammar school pupil has admitted possessing a knife before the start of his trial.

    Yousef Makki, 17, who dreamed of becoming a heart surgeon, was stabbed to death on 2 March on a street in Hale Barns, Greater Manchester.

    The accused, who denies murder, pleaded guilty to a charge of perverting the course of justice.

    But he denied conspiracy to commit robbery, Manchester Crown Court heard.

    Yousef Makki

    Yousef, who was from Burnage, Manchester, had won a scholarship to attend Manchester Grammar School.

    A second defendant, also 17, pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice and conspiracy to robbery but admitted a charge of possession of a knife.

    Neither teenager can be named because they are under 18.

    A trial before Mr Justice Bryan, scheduled to last two weeks, is expected to begin later in the week.

  7. All change for Liverpool's bus routes

    Nearly half of the bus routes serving Liverpool city centre are being overhauled in sweeping network changes.

    Merseytravel and the region's combined authority are redrawing routes as part of the city council's £45m Liverpool City Centre Connectivity Scheme, which aims to cut emissions by introducing pedestrian-only areas on Lime Street and the Strand.

    Bus in Liverpool

    Cross-city buses between Queen Square and Liverpool One Bus Station will replace some services that run through the city centre.

    Councillor Liam Robinson, who chairs the region’s transport committee, said: “Some people will be able to get on and off where they do now, others may be closer to their end destination and some may need to walk a bit further."

    A consultation is under way and the proposals will come into force from January 2020.

  8. Jeremy Kyle snubs request to appear before MPs

    Jeremy Kyle has turned down a request to appear before MPs investigating reality TV.

    ITV axed The Jeremy Kyle Show - which was filmed in Salford - in May, following the death of participant Steve Dymond.

    Jeremy Kyle

    The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee then launched an inquiry into reality TV.

    Senior executives involved in the show will appear in front of MPs on 25 June, but the star's representatives told the committee he would not give evidence.

    The committee's chairman Damian Collins said: "We believe that Mr Kyle is an important witness to the committee in its work and we will be pursuing this matter with Mr Kyle's representatives to see if we can find a date when he will appear or to understand fully the reasons why he is not able to appear."

  9. Driver flees scene of crash after wreckage closes slip road

    M61 crash wreckage

    A driver who fled the scene of a crash which closed a motorway slip road during rush hour is being hunted by police.

    Pictures shared by Greater Manchester Police on social media showed wreckage strewn across the M61 southbound access road to the A580 near to Walkden after the crash at 04:40.

    The force is trying to locate the driver of the silver Chevrolet Captiva who left the scene on foot.

    Debris has been cleared and police are due to reopen the road this morning.

    View more on twitter
  10. Bowls under threat amid council cuts

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Bowls stock image

    Bowling greens across Bolton face closure if the town’s council presses on with cost-cutting plans to slash its maintenance budget.

    A 2,000-name petition has called for the council to halt proposals to reduce its spend by £67,000 over the next two years.

    The council wants to hands the responsibility for tending greens to the clubs that use them, but opponents say players would struggle to pay membership fees of up to £80 a year that would be needed to fund maintenance.

    Bowls stock image

    Clive Fenn, the secretary of Bolton Parks Veterans Amateur Bowling Association, said many elderly players relied on the game for exercise and social interaction.

    Moss Bank Bowling Club chairman Chris Barnes said council-owned greens were already suffering at the hands of poor maintenance, with some left unplayable after going “three or four days” between being mowed.

    The leader of Bolton Council, David Greenhalgh, said the authority wanted to work with the clubs “to find a solution which works for everyone”.

  11. Video content

    Video caption: Cricket World Cup weather

    While it's set fine and dry for England v Afghanistan at Old Trafford today, heavy showers could delay the start of play tomorrow at Edgbaston.

  12. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M6 Lancashire northbound

    BBC News Travel

    M6 Lancashire northbound severe accident, from J29 for M65 J1 to J30 for M61.

    M6 Lancashire - Two lanes blocked and queues on M6 northbound from J29, M65 J1 (Lostock Hall) to J30 M61, because of an accident.

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