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  1. Updates on Tuesday 22 November 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Adam Clarkson

BBC Tees

That's the end of our updates for today. Thanks for joining us throughout the day.

We hope the weather stays reasonable and you can get home safely.

You can still find the latest news online, on BBC Tees, on BBC Newcastle and on Look North.

We'll be back with more news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00 tomorrow.

In the meantime, if you want to get in touch you can contact us on TwitterFacebook, or via email.

Stockton charity first in the North East to test the homeless for HIV

Clients of Bridge House in Stockton can now be offered instant HIV tests. 

The homeless charity is the first in our region to offer this service to it's clients.

Some 140 tests have been carried out over a three-month period. 

No positive HIV results have been produced but eight people have tested positive for Hepatitis C.

Scientists trying to save cliff-side homes

Adam Clarkson

BBC Tees

A team of scientists from Durham University have been appointed to monitor an eroding cliff on the North East coast.

Some 25 homes in the hamlet of Cowbar are at risk after a series of rock falls over the last five years. 

The only road leading to the properties has collapsed twice in that period - one house had to be demolished to allow machinery down to make repairs. 

Scientists are using lasers to monitor the cliff hour by hour to assess the level of threat to buildings and residents. 


Did you know Britain's US Ambassador is from County Durham?

Sir Kim Darroch has been Her Majesty's Ambassador to the United States since January. 

The 62-year-old has been in the news because UKIP's interim leader Nigel Farrage seems to be after his job.

Sir Kim was born in County Durham in April 1954, and stayed in the region to study zoology at Durham University.

Sir Kim Darroch
Getty Images

His former roles included national security adviser to David Cameron and permanent representative to the European Union.  

A leaked memo obtained by the Sunday Times, reportedly written by Sir Kim, suggested he believed British influence - "if pitched right" - could shape President-elect Trump's thinking.  

Severe accident: A68 County Durham both ways

BBC Travel

A68 County Durham both ways severe accident, between A689 and Firtree Turnoff.

A68 County Durham - A68 in Crook closed in both directions between the A689 junction and the Firtree Turnoff junction, because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Your photos: The flooding in Rothbury

We've been sent these pictures of a flooded Rothbury by Chris Goddard.

The Environment Agency issued a flood alert earlier today and has been monitoring water levels over the course of the day.

Flood in Rothbury
Chris Goddard
Flood in Rothbury
Chris Goddard

Middlesbrough 'can fight back' against negative coverage

Middlesbrough can fight back against negative coverage of the town, a business boss says. 

Graham Robb is the chairman of the Institute of Directors in the North East and spoke to BBC Tees earlier to criticise a BBC News online article. 

"I'm angry, I'm disappointed," he said.  

Middlesbrough 'can fight back' against negative coverage

'It's time for another fight with some national media about smearing Middlesbrough'

We have more of Graham Robb's reaction to the BBC News article that looks at the negative coverage Middlesbrough receives.

The chairman of the Institute of Directors in the North East spoke to BBC Tees earlier to criticise what he believed to be a smear on the town.

"I'm angry, I'm disappointed, the blood is being conjured up," Graham Robb said.

He suggested that the article could be damaging for Middlesbrough every time the town is searched for online. 

"That article is going to be high up because it's on the BBC News website."


Mr Robb claimed that the article didn't paint an accurate picture of Middlesbrough, saying:

We're dealing with an organisation here that has an obligation to fairness but we only have a partial truth - not a whole truth."

Dale Arnold

A teenager admits killing a man found with stab wounds in a County Durham village.

Read more

More than £7,000 raised from sleep out

The eighth Big Tees Sleep Out has raised more than £7,000 for local homeless charities. 

More than 50 people were sponsored to sleep on the street overnight four days ago.

Organised by the Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, the event has raised more than £94,000 over the past four years. 

'Middlesbrough people who pay the license fee are entitled to fair representation'

The chairman of the Institute of Directors in the North East, Graham Robb, has criticised a "damning" BBC article about Middlesbrough's reputation.

Speaking to BBC Tees, he spoke passionately to defend his home town.

He said:

We understand that we live in a community that has its problems but we are resilient to those problems."

Houses in Middlesbrough

Photos: Flooding between Berwick and Newcastle

More trains have been affected by flooding this morning. 

Virgin East Coast tweeted these photos of the line between Berwick and Newcastle. 

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: A194 Tyne And Wear eastbound

BBC Travel

A194 Tyne And Wear eastbound severe disruption, between B1516 York Avenue and A19.

A194 Tyne And Wear - A194 Leam Lane in Monkton closed and queuing traffic eastbound between the B1516 York Avenue junction and Lindisfarne Roundabout, because of a vehicle fire.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

'I travel the country and believe me - I've been to worse places than Teesside'

Teesside man Lee spoke to BBC Tees to share his reaction to the BBC News article which explores the bad press the town has received.

Lee now lives in Gainford in County Durham and says working in different parts of the UK has exposed him to areas he believes are worse than Teesside.

Middlesbrough house

He said the negative image that the town has is something that can never be changed while the media "only want to show the doom and gloom".  

He added:

All they want to see is the smokey chimneys and the boarded up houses. They don't want to see Pallister Park or the university".

Police treating Middlesbrough fires at suspicious

Police are investigating two house fires that started within half an hour of each other in Middlesbrough.

Fire crews were called to a row of terraced houses on Southfield Road at 19:25 last night after a blaze broke out in the roof of a vacant property.

Some 15 minutes later the crew received reports of a second fire at nearby Haddon Street. 

An elderly man was taken to James Cook Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. 

Watch: Car attempts to pass trapped vehicle

Our reporter Rebecca O'Neill is at the scene where a taxi is currently stuck on a flooded road in Walker, Newcastle.

The taxi became stuck attempting to drive through the water on Fossway.

Cars are still attempting to travel on the road, despite the vehicle clearly being stuck.

View more on twitter

Photo: Vehicle trapped in flood

A taxi has become trapped on the A186 Fossway in Walker in Newcastle where it meets Stotts Road and Ennerdale Road.

The road is currently closed because of the flood. 

Teams are on site to free the vehicle. 

A taxi stuck in the water

Emergency care to be cut back at three hospitals

The Journal


A North East NHS trust is scrapping 24-hour emergency care at three of its hospitals over the winter months.

Journal front page
The Journal

Severe disruption: A66 North Yorkshire both ways

BBC Travel

A66 North Yorkshire both ways severe disruption, between A172 Marton Road and A1085 Longlands Road.

A66 North Yorkshire - A66 / A172 Link Road in Middlesbrough closed in both directions between Marton Road Interchange and the A1085 Longlands Road junction, because of flooding.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck urgent care units to close at night

Three emergency care units are closing their doors to overnight patients in an effort to focus care over the winter.

The units in North Tyneside and Northumberland will be shut between midnight and 08:00 from 1 December.

Overnight emergencies will be diverted to the recently-opened Northumbria Hospital in Cramlington, until March.

Health bosses say the move - at North Tyneside, Hexham and Wansbeck hospitals - is needed to cope with an expected rise in 999 admissions over the winter.

Northumbria Hospital in Cramlington

Weather: A windy day with heavy rain

Abbie Dewhurst

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

Outbreaks of rain, which will be heavy but not as torrential as overnight.

There will be strong northerly winds, moving further east later.


Travel: Rail line reopened at Alnmouth after flooding but still delays

Travel: Update on roads

Some of the roads around Tyne and Wear and Northumberland which were closed earlier by flooding have since reopened but others are still affected.

Here is the current picture:

- The A189 spine road at Cramlington is now reopened

- The A19 northbound between Testo's roundabout and Lindisfarne Roundabout is now reopened

- The A1 near to Newton on Moor at Alnwick also has a lot of standing water and the road is down to one lane in both directions

- A692 between Lobely Hill and Sunniside, on Watergate Bank, is currently closed.

Northumbria Police are urging drivers to cut their speed and leave extra time for their journeys.

Photos: Flooding on East Coast Mainline at Alnmouth

Flooding has been causing problems on the East Coast Mainline this morning. Network Rail have tweeted these photos from Alnmouth.

View more on twitter

Flood call outs for Tyne and Wear Fire Service

A189 Spine Road has reopened

Drivers urged to take care on the roads

Police are warning people who are heading out on the roads to take care.

Durham Police say snow and heavy rain are affecting roads in County Durham today and that drivers should take care and allow extra time today .

Northumbria Police say there is a lot of standing water and some road closures. They urged drivers to drive with care, reduce speed and make sure lights are on.

Watch: The scene in Great Ayton

BBC Tees reporter Andy Bell is in Great Ayton this morning and sent this video.

View more on twitter

Travel: Latest on the roads and rail affected by the weather

There are many problems on the roads and rail networks this morning. Here are some of the most serious problems across the North East.

A1046 Haverton Hill Road in Billingham closed northbound after the New Road junction, because of flooding. Diversion in operation - through Bewley, Stockton.  

The A1 in Northumberland is affected in several stretches including bewtween Ancroft and Fenwick and at Eshott. The A186 at Rutland Avenue and at Fossway in Newcastle is closed and there is a fallen tree on the A68 at Bingfield in Northumberland. 

For full details of issues on the roads, click here for Tyne & Wear and here for Teesside.

Due to flooding between Berwick and Newcastle, services on the East Coast Mainlien are being diverted or cancelled. More information here.

Trampoline blown into street in Blyth

High winds and rain caused problems overnight with emergency services out across the North East.

Police in Blyth, Northumberland, tweeted at 19:30 last night: "The weather is bad. Really bad. So much so that we have just found a trampoline on the front street. Take care out there."

Here's a picture of the trampoline in the street. It was later returned to its owner.

Trampolie in street
Blyth Police

Round-up of travel problems around the North East

Colin Briggs

Look North

It's been a wild night of gale force winds, torrential rain and snow as the remnants of Storm Angus swept through the region. 

Worst hit has been the North East. Gusts of nearly 50mph in places have been recorded, and while there have been heavy snow showers at high levels, it's the rain and wind which has been the big issue. 

Police are urging caution on the roads, warning drivers not to attempt to drive through floodwater unless they are certain just how deep it actually is. 

There are no trains between Newcastle and Berwick and there are delays on the Tyne and Wear Metro due to localised flooding. Elsewhere Virgin East Coast say services between Newcastle and Berwick have been hit.

 And the Shields ferry is still experiencing problems as a result of damage yesterday to the North Shields pier. A replacement bus service is in operation. 

Travel: Floods block Newcastle to Berwick rail line

Travel: Storm Angus causes road and rail problems

Widespread localised flooding is causing problems for drivers, and police are warning people to allow extra time for their journeys.

In Northumberland, the A189 spine road at Cramlington, which goes past the hospital, is closed in both directions. Diversions are in place. Other roads affected are the A1 at several places in Northumberland, the A68 in Northumberland and the A186 in Newcastle. 

Further south there are problems on A roads in North Yorkshire including the A169, the A173, and the A66.

The Tyne and Wear Metro has been hit, with no trains running between Benton and Shiremoor, and the rail line between Newcastle and Berwick is blocked.

More traffic information on the BBC Travel website for Tyne & Wear, and Teesside.