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  1. News, sport, weather and travel updates will resume at 07:00 on Friday
  2. Live updates on Thursday 26 May 2016

Live Reporting

By Andrew Barton

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodbye: Our live coverage across the day

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

That's the end of our live service for today. 

I'll be back from 07:00 Friday with more news, sport, travel and weather updates from around the county. 

I'll leave you with a pictorial smattering from some of today's stories, with the addition, top left, of some of today's fluffier visitors to York's Clifford's Tower, which was sent in by BBC Weather Watcher Gary Gimmick.


Knitting fish then hanging them out on a fence? I'm not codding!

Joanita Musisi

Reporter, BBC Radio York

In the run up to the Tour de Yorkshire we saw some wonderful examples of large knitting on display in public places - a practice know as "yarn-bombing".

You might remember that one example of yarn-bombing, in Thirsk, was one of the most entertaining examples.

It seems the craze for displaying large knitted items is now spreading, with something similar happening in York - this time involving knitted fish! 

It gets weirder, too: the fish are going to hang on a tennis court fence in York's Rowntree Park. I've been finding out more:

'At least six cats shot in eye' in York as pet owner starts campaign to ban air rifles


At least six cats have been shot in the eye in one area of York, says the shocked owner of one of the injured pets. 

Now police are asking for the public's help to catch the perpetrator before they strike again.

Injured cat

North Yorkshire weather update: Drizzle in places, but some brighter spells

Paul Hudson

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

Cloudy with a little drizzle in places this afternoon, especially over the hills where fog will persist. Brighter spells possible late with a top temperature of about 15C (59F).

Weather graphic

Appeal for information over woman's rape near University of York campus

Police are appealing for information after a woman was raped near the University of York's Heslington campus earlier this month.

The attack happened on a path leading to Walmgate Stray at about 02:15 on Friday 13 May.

The victim, in her 20s, is receiving support from specially trained officers, police say.  

The suspect's described as black, of medium build, aged between 20-30, between 5ft 6ins and 5ft 10ins tall and wearing a dark coloured hoodie.  

Det Insp Mark Pearson says: "We appreciate time has passed since the attack, but I'd ask people, particularly students at the university, to cast their minds back to the early hours of Friday 13 May and contact us if they have any information that could help our investigation."

Delays and diversions after lorry and bus collide on A1079 in York

Delays continue on and around the A1079 Hull Road in York after a collision involving a lorry and a bus.

No-one was injured, thankfully, but it still looks like it was quite a serious incident:

View more on twitter

Headlines: Woman raped near university, police's 'legal high' pledge and Mystery Plays return to Minster after 700 years

Sarah Urwin

BBC Radio York News

The top stories from the York newsroom this lunchtime include:

Woman raped near York University campus in Heslington

A woman in her 20s has been raped on a footpath near the University of York.

The attack took place on the path leading to Walmgate Stray behind the Heslington campus at about 02:15 on Friday 13 May. It was reported to the police on Monday.

The suspect's described as black, of medium build, aged between 20-30, between 5ft 6ins and 5ft 10ins tall and wearing a dark coloured hoodie.

Police say they're carrying out "extensive" enquiries and are appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time or who has any other information to get in touch.

University's 175 years of education in York

Jonathan Cowap

Presenter, BBC Radio York

This morning, I took a short bike ride up York's Gillygate and a little way along Lord Mayors Walk to York St Johns University.

It's a very special year for the university this year as it celebrates its 175th anniversary. 

The university began as two teacher training colleges: one for men, founded in York in 1841, and another for women which was founded five years later.  

So I thought it would be nice to have a brief tour of the site which many car drivers in York sit in traffic next to.

I hope you enjoy these photos from inside the University's Heritage Room:

York St John

Watch: Sixty tonnes of Mystery Play stage built in under three minutes

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

Much has been made of the stage built inside York Minster for the Mystery Plays which start later today - and it's not surprising.

After all, the Minster's nave has been transformed into a 1,000-seater auditorium, with a 60 tonne Yorkshire-built stage, boasting scaffolding that, end-to-end, is about three times the length of the city walls.

You can see the giant structure being built here. It took a little longer than it takes to watch this speeded up film!

View more on youtube

Traffic and travel: Update on 'serious accident' on A1079 in York

BBC Travel

The A1079 Hull Road in York is closed and there's queuing traffic in both directions between the Grimston Bar Interchange and the Common Lane junction because of an accident involving a lorry and a bus. 

There's a diversion in operation via the B1228 Elvington Lane and Common Lane. 

We're being told to expect long delays in the area. 

As a result police are advising drivers to avoid the area and there's heavy congestion on the A166 Stamford Bridge Road to the Church Balk junction and to the Dauby Lane junction.  

Council adopts vision for future of Harrogate town centre

Harrogate Informer

A vision of how the centre of Harrogate could develop over the next 10 years has been agreed by councillors, with the adoption of Harrogate Town Centre Strategy and Masterplan.

This means it will now be used to bring forward improvements to the town, attract inward investment and inform decisions on future planning applications in the town centre.  

Harrogate Town Centre
Harrogate Town Council

Ban on legal highs 'will help tackle problem in Scarborough' - Police

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

There's a warning this morning from North Yorkshire Police as a ban on so-called "Legal Highs" comes in.

The ban means it'll be illegal to make, sell and supply the drugs, which mimic the effects of substances like cannabis, LSD and cocaine.

Legal highs

Ch Insp Lindsey Stamp says she hopes new police powers to stop people making and selling the drugs will help tackle the problem in Scarborough.  

We've seen frightening situations in Scarborough where people have had psychotic episodes, become incredibly unwell, unconscious and needing urgent medical attention. When they come round they're unaware of the danger they were in or the violence they offered other people."

Ch Insp Lindsey StampNorth Yorkshire Police

Delays expected in York after 'serious' accident

Drivers are being warned to be aware of an accident on the outskirts of York which is likely to cause some delays:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Behind the scenes: An insight into York Minster's Mystery

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

More now on one the biggest events York Minster has ever staged  - the York Mystery Plays which get under way at this landmark building later today.

The Minster's nave has been transformed into a 1,000-seater auditorium, and there's also a 60-tonne Yorkshire-built stage, boasting scaffolding which, end-to-end, is about three times the length of the city walls.

Here are a few behind-the-scenes pics to give you a taste of the Minster's transformation:


You can listen to an interview with Philip McGinley who plays the central role of Christ right here.

Headlines: Haxby house explosion neighbours' concerns, big rise in private ambulance spend and York gets new Lord Mayor

Nathan Turvey

BBC Radio York News

The top stories from our York newsroom so far this morning include:

  • There are concerns that homes near a property on the outskirts of York which was destroyed by a gas explosion in which a man died could also be at risk
  • There's been a dramatic rise in the use of private ambulances to deal with emergencies in Yorkshire
  • York officially gets a new Lord Mayor in the next hour as Dave Taylor becomes the first Green Party councillor to take on the ceremonial role

Celebrity lawyer 'Mr Loophole' jumps on Harrogate Battle Bus ticketing row

Harrogate Informer

The country’s leading road traffic lawyer has jumped on the Harrogate Vote Leave battle bus ticketing row.

Nick Freeman called Harrogate Borough Council's decision to pursue a parking enforcement notice after initially rescinding it as "yoyo" ticketing, and "tantamount to an abuse of process".

Parking warden
Harrogate Informer

Gas pipe danger fears near Haxby house explosion site

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

Concerns are being voiced that people living near a house which exploded on the outskirts of York are unaware their properties could also be vulnerable.

A man died in the gas explosion in Haxby earlier this year which was caused by a fractured pipe under the floor. 

Haxby house explosion
Rob Varley/PA

An official report said it was "very unusual" and if people are worried they should ask a registered gas engineer to carry out checks.  

Maggie, who lives on Springwood, where Paul Wilmott died in the blast on 18 February, has told BBC Radio York that checks on a couple of other homes nearby showed up similar faults.

Our neighbours had a check done by an independent gas expert and they were found to also have the pipe that affected the other property and it was leaking gas. So they had their gas pipes completely blocked off... I know two other people on the street have had the same problem - gas leaks with the same pipe that was laid in concrete."

Maggie KitsonSpringwood resident

Traffic and travel: Problems continue in Northallerton after accident

BBC Travel

Things aren't getting better on the A167 Boroughbridge Road in Northallerton after an accident there.

It remains closed and there's now queuing traffic in both directions between the A684 Lees Lane junction and the Station Road junction.

BBC Weather Watchers: Rain brings snail out into the slimelight!

BBC Weather Watchers

Not everyone gets annoyed by the rain. Look at this crafty snail using it to ease its passage up a stem in Knaresborough.

Snail climbing a stem

Thanks to BBC Weather Watcher Old Man George for the pic. Why not send in your own?

Watch: Meet Christ from the York Mystery Plays

Jonathan Cowap

Presenter, BBC Radio York

One the biggest events York Minster has ever staged has arrived with the York Mystery Plays due to get under way later today.

The Minster's Nave has been transformed into a 1,000-seater auditorium, and there's also a 60 tonne Yorkshire-built stage, boasting scaffolding which, end-to-end, is about three times the length of the city walls.

High up in the banked seating now dominating the building, I met Philip McGinley who plays the central role of Christ.

He he told me about the sheer behind-the-scenes effort that's gone into this year's Mystery Plays:

Huge rise in Yorkshire Ambulance spend on private ambulances for 999 calls

BBC Radio York

Yorkshire Ambulance Service is spending nearly 50 times as much on private ambulances than it did five years ago, according to figures obtained by the BBC.

In the last financial year, the service spent £7m on buying in private providers to respond to emergency calls. 

It's partly being put down to staff shortages, because of new rules meaning paramedics need a degree.

Ambulance graphic

We're concerned that the reliance on private providers means in times of increased activity, such as the winter, when we do require additional capacity, it's not there to bring in from the private sector and therefore it's increasing the pressure on patients and the public."

Richard WebberDirector, College of Paramedics

Traffic and travel: Road closed in Northallerton after accident

BBC Travel

The A167 Boroughbridge Road in Northallerton is currently closed and there's queuing traffic southbound between the A684 Lees Lane junction and the Station Road junction, because of an accident.  

Watch: A cloudy and grey North Yorkshire morning, but some brightness this afternoon

BBC Weather

Some drizzle, mist and fog to begin with this morning, but a bit milder than yesterday.

Here's my full forecast for the day ahead:

Sport headlines: York City sign Ben Clappison, Knights' knock-out hopes, Vikings' tickets record and North Yorkshire golfers time for Tee

BBC Sport

The latest sport headlines from our York newsroom so far this morning include:

  • York City have announced their eighth signing of the close season. Ben Clappison has signed a two-year deal after joining from Hull City where he played in the Under 21s
  • York City Knights will approach Saturday's iPro Sport Cup final like any other game, according to assistant coach Mark Applegarth. The Knights play Keighley in a match that could see them win their first knock-out competition since the club formed in 2002
  • Yorkshire Vikings' T20 Blast match against Lancashire on Friday 1 July has sold out in record time, five weeks before the game. The Vikings start their Twenty20 campaign on Friday night against Leicestershire Foxes at Headingley
  • York's Simon Dyson and Harrogate's John Parry both tee off later this morning in the first round of the BMW Championship at Wentworth

New Scarborough water park criticised before it's even opened

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

Entry prices for a new water park in Scarborough which was rescued with a multimillion-pound council cash injection have been branded "unaffordable".

Alpamare water park was bailed out with a loan of £9m from Scarborough Borough Council in 2009 after it was put on hold due to the economic downturn.


Some residents have said £60 for a family ticket to the park - which opens in July - is too expensive.

Its owners said the attraction was intended to be a "special treat".

Headlines: Haxby house explosion neighbours' concerns, big rise in private ambulance spend and Minster Mystery Plays begin

Nathan Turvey

BBC Radio York News

The latest headlines from our York newsroom include:

Weather: Dull, dim and dismal - and it's a wet one too

BBC Weather

Today it will be largely dull with mist, fog on hills, and outbreaks of rain or drizzle. It'll feel cool where cloud persists with light easterly winds.

Weather graphic

Traffic and Travel: All good on rail and roads so far across North Yorkshire

BBC Travel

It's a good start today for getting about in North Yorkshire.

There are no problems on the trains arriving at, or leaving ,York Railway Station at the moment, click here for the departure board latest.

On the roads, there's a speed restriction of 30mph, due to roundabout construction on the A61 Princess Royal Way in both directions, between Follifoot Road and Burnbridge Lane.

And there are some narrow lanes due to water mains work on the A59 Boroughbridge Road, in both directions, on Cranbrook Avenue.

Everything else so far is running smoothly.

Good Morning: Join us for today's live coverage

Andrew Barton

BBC Local Live, York

I'll be with you until 14:30 with all the latest news, sport, travel and weather from across North Yorkshire.

And, as York's Mystery Plays start today, and are being performed in York Minster for only the second time in almost 700 years, I thought it gave us the perfect excuse to start today with this great shot of the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe.

From today it's home to hundreds of actors and animal costumes until the end of June.

York Minster

And remember, you can send your pics in via Twitter, Facebook or to our Local Live email account.