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MP wants HS2 to relieve rail congestion

Jodie Looker

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

The government is being urged not to cancel HS2 by the MP for Crewe and Nantwich.

Artist's impression of HS2 train
PA Media

If it is approved, phase two of the high-speed rail project will connect Birmingham with Leeds and Manchester, via Crewe.

Today, the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said a decision on its future will be made next month.

BBC Radio Stoke understands Dr Keiran Mullan is behind a letter from 40 MPs pushing for HS2 to go ahead, despite the overall project's expected £106bn price tag.

The congestion on the West Coast Main Line means that journeys are jam-packed, if there's a problem on one part of the railway it causes knock on effects locally and so I know residents want to see that investment locally in a new railway line to free up capacity."

Dr Keiran MullanCrewe and Nantwich MP

Woman dies day after being hit by lorry

Vicky Norton

BBC Radio Stoke

A woman's died a day after she was hit by a lorry.

Haslington Bypass in Crewe Green
Google

The 37-year-old, from Sandbach, was struck by the vehicle on Tuesday on the Haslington Bypass near Crewe Green roundabout, Crewe, Cheshire Police said.

She suffered serious injuries and died on Wednesday at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.

Woman critical after lorry crash

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A woman's in a critical condition after being hit by a lorry.

Haslington Bypass near Crewe Green
Google

It happened on the Haslington Bypass near the Crewe Green roundabout, Crewe, in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Police said the pedestrian in her 30s suffered serious injuries and remains at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.

Officers said they were keen to hear from witnesses, particularly anyone with dashcam footage.

Unifinished business: £3m spent so far on emergency base

Bob Cooper

Political reporter, BBC Cumbria

More than £3m has been spent on an emergency services base in Cumbria, that still stands half-built when it should should have been finished two years ago, BBC Cumbria has established.

Half-finished building
BBC

Work on the base for the police, fire and ambulance services in Ulverston, called the Blue Light Hub, was held up by a contractual dispute.

Cumbria County Council has refused to release details of any pay-out to its former contractor.

The authority says it's now got a new builder in place and hopes soon to say more about when work will re-start.

Former stately home devastated by fire

Allen Cook

BBC News

A 19th Century mansion has been left badly damaged after a large fire, according to photos released by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The roof of the building
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

At its height, dozens of firefighters battled the blaze on Sunday evening at Tilstone House on Nantwich Road in Tarporley, near Nantwich.

The fire service said the fire swept across all three floors of the former stately home, which is now used as a wedding venue.

By 15:30, just one fire engine was still at the house.

Looking into the roof
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

'No more hotspots' in stately home blaze

Allen Cook

BBC News

The blaze at the 19th century Cheshire mansion looks to now be out, the fire service's said.

Fire crews jetting water on to blaze
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

Fifty firefighters were sent just after 20:30 on Sunday to Tilstone House on Nantwich Road in Tarporley.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) said at 11:00 their crews had stopped damping down and no more hotspots had been found.

Fire at 19th Century mansion 'under control'

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A fire at a 19th Century country house is now under control, the fire service has said.

Fire at the building
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

Dozens of firefighters had to be called to Tilstone House on the A51 Nantwich Road, near Nantwich, from just before 20:30 last night.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said the blaze had spread through all three floors but no-one's thought to have been hurt.

By just after 08:00 they said crews were damping down at the scene and checking for any remaining hotspots.

The owners of Tilstone House describe it on their website as a "luxury wedding venue" which was built in 1888.

Avanti to refurbish West Coast Pendolino trains

BBC Business News

In December, Avanti West Coast took over from Virgin Trains as the operator running the West Coast Main Line.

Train
Avanti West Coast

It has now announced a £642m deal to refurbish the 56 Pendolino trains that run on the line through Cumbria.

A seven-year deal has been agreed between Avanti West Coast and Alstom, which built the fleet.

The firm said that it would create 100 jobs, primarily based in Widnes in Cheshire.

Homicides fall for first time in five years

BBC News UK

The number of people killed in most parts of the West Midlands fell in 2019, BBC research suggests.

Flowers for a stabbing victim in Birmingham in 2019
BBC

It's in line with a trend across the UK as, in total, 650 people were killed in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland last year.

That's down from the 774 homicides in 2018, police figures show.

West Midlands Police said the number fell from 51 in 2018 to 39 last year; while homicides in Greater Manchester were down from 64 to 39.

West Mercia and Cheshire police forces also saw drops in homicides recorded in 2019 compared to the previous 12 months.

How to keep your favourite pet on a healthy weight regime.
Vets urge well-meaning owners to limit the treats and keep their pets at a healthy weight.

Two murder arrests over body find at flat

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of murder following the discovery of a body at a flat.

Lord Street, Crewe
Google

The emergency services were called to Lord Street, Crewe, Cheshire, on Friday night.

Cheshire Police said the unnamed man was pronounced dead at the property.

A 22-year-old man has been released on bail while the second suspect, aged 39, has been released under investigation.

Ambulances get 5,000 calls on New Year's Day

Cumbria's ambulance service said it saw a spike in calls over the festive period.

Figures released by the North West Ambulance Service showed it received more than 5,000 calls on New Year's Day alone.

NHS 111, the non-emergency service, also reported a high number of calls, with more than 12,000 recorded on the 28 December.

Ambulance
NWAS

Free-scoring Alex urged to tighten up defence

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Crewe Alexandra still have room for improvement, their manager's said, despite the team notching four goals in a match for the fifth time this season.

The Alex kept up their promotion push in League Two with a 4-1 win yesterday against Carlisle.

But they haven't kept a clean sheet since November and boss David Artell wants that to improve.

"We've worked hard on becoming better offensively. We've still got work to do, definitely, we've certainly got to be a bit more ruthless defensively," he said.

Man seriously hurt in street attack

A man suffered a serious injury after being pushed to the ground and kicked by two men on a street in Crewe, police said.

Nantwich Road, Crewe
Google

The 48-year-old was walking on Nantwich Road on Sunday morning when Cheshire Police said two men, who he didn't know, came up to him.

They started shouting at him before pushing him over and attacking him.

The victim needed hospital treatment but officers said he had since been discharged.

Mayor's ultimatum 'still in place' despite ticket offer

Allen Cook

BBC News

The West Midlands mayor says his ultimatum to West Midlands Trains remains in place despite the firm offering discounts to season ticket holders.

Train
BBC

The operator's made the move after months of disruption following the introduction of a new timetable in May, which the firm's claimed is too complex.

Earlier this week, mayor Andy Street said he expected a reliable service from 31 January or he'd ask the government to remove the franchise from the company.

He's now welcomed the discount move but said his ultimatum was still in place.

Passengers offered season ticket discount over disruption

Season ticket holders on services run by West Midlands Trains will be offered discounts from January after months of disruption.

Passengers at a railway station
BBC

Passengers on both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway have seen delays, cancellations and overcrowding over the past few months.

The operator blamed a new timetable introduced in May, which it claims is too complex.

Passengers using weekly, monthly and annual season tickets will be offered a 3% cut in the cost, which the firm claims will offset the annual 2.8% rise in national fares from 2 January.

West Midlands Trains says the timetable will also be simplified in May and it'll offer other passengers a summer ticket promotion.

Earlier this week, West Midlands mayor Andy Street said he'd ask the government to strip the operator of the franchise if it didn't restore a reliable service by 31 January.

Morpurgo's Christmas (fire) cracker
A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the yuletide offering from children's author, Sir Michael Morpurgo.
Newlyweds facing terminal cancer enjoy their first Christmas as man and wife.
After a terminal diagnosis, Lauren and José had their "dream wedding" with the help of a charity.

Man dragged to floor in knifepoint robbery

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A man's been dragged to the floor and robbed of his wallet at knifepoint.

Borough Road, Congleton
Google

Cheshire Police said the 35-year-old was walking along Borough Road, Congleton, yesterday afternoon when he was attacked.

The two men involved then escaped in a silver Ford Fiesta driven by another man.

Officers said the victim wasn't hurt.

Burglars tunnel into jewellers

Jodie Looker

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man broke into a jewellers by tunnelling in from a neighbouring basement.

Alexandra's Jewellers, Alsager
Google

He burgled Alexandra's Jewellers, Crewe Road, Alsager, on 8 December, Cheshire Police said.

After breaking in, he then fled with jewellery in a plastic bag.

Officers said people using a nearby car park may have seen something suspicious and they also want any residents in the area with CCTV cameras to come forward.

Macclesfield Town docked six points over Crewe refusal

BBC Sport

Macclesfield Town have been docked six points by the English Football League after pleading guilty to charges over non-payment of wages and failing to fulfil their fixture with Crewe.

A general view of Macclesfield Town"s football ground
PA Media

The League Two club have failed to pay their players on time on numerous occasions in recent months.

Their players refused to play against Crewe on 7 December citing concerns over their emotional wellbeing.

The club will still have to fulfil the fixture with Crewe, although a new date has yet to be arranged.