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Velo event organisers 'regret' lack of refunds

The organisers of one of the biggest cycling events in the country, cancelled in the wake of coronavirus, aknowleged riders had been left "frustrated and angry" at the lack of a refund or the option to transfer to a future Velo.

Midlands Velo
Ian Baker photography

About 18,000 cyclists were expected to join the Vélo Birmingham and Midlands on 21 June, taking but the event was cancelled due to coronavirus.

Entry fees, which can cost more than £80, will not be refunded with organisers saying they had already paid out "unrecoverable" costs.

It posted "more context" as to why it had taken the decision on the event's Facebook page saying "we are simply not able to make any refunds or to allow us to guarantee an event in 2021, which we very much regret."

The entry fees collected to date fall short of covering the costs incurred and in common with the majority of businesses, our cancellation insurance policy sadly excludes any claims arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. It may surprise you to learn that the events in 2017 and 2019 lost a significant amount of money, and at best this year’s event would have only broken-even.

Velo Birmingham and Midlands statement

Hospital releases further details of coronavirus deaths

Further details have emerged of three of the patients to have died in Lincolnshire this weekend after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

NHS 111 sign
Getty Images

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust said the three people who died under its care were women aged between 65 and 80-years-old. It said all three had "underlying health conditions."

In a statement the Trust said: “Sadly we can confirm that three further patients who were being cared for in our hospitals, and had tested positive for COVID-19, have died.

“Their families have been informed and our thoughts and condolences are with them at this difficult and distressing time.”

Police appeal after woman dies in car crash

Sonia Kataria

BBC News

Police are appealing for witnesses after a woman died in a car crash in Market Harborough.

Leicestershire Police said the collision occurred at about 10:20 in an area off Great Bowden Road near to Albany Road on Saturday.

The crash involved a Vauxhall Corsa and the woman was pronounced dead at the scene, the force added.

Great Bowden Road near to Albany Road  in Market Harborough, Leicestershire

Det Con Pete Davies, from the force's serious collision investigation unit, has asked anyone who saw the crash or has dashcam footage to contact them on 101.

Severe disruption: M1 Northamptonshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire southbound severe disruption, at M1.

M1 Northamptonshire - M1 exit slip road blocked southbound at M1, Watford Gap Services, because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Man recovered from Nottingham canal named

Neil Heath

BBC News Online

A man whose body was recovered from a canal last week has been named by police.

Paul Musson, 54, lived on a canal boat on the Nottingham Canal near the Sainsbury's supermarket at Castle Boulevard in the city.

While officers do not believe his death is suspicious at this stage, they have appealed for help from the public to piece together his last movements.

Paul Musson
Nottinghamshire Police

Det Insp Ruby Burrow, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: "It is possible he may have simply fallen into the water from his boat that he lived on.

"However, as his death is still unexplained, it is our duty to collect evidence."

She added Mr Musson's family is "very distraught" and need to find out what happened to him.

Severe disruption: M1 Leicestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Leicestershire northbound severe disruption, from J24 for A453 Ashby Road Nottingham South to J25 for A52 Brian Clough Way Nottingham.

M1 Leicestershire - One lane closed on M1 northbound from J24, A453 (Nottingham South) to J25, A52 (Nottingham), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe accident: A14 Northamptonshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

A14 Northamptonshire eastbound severe accident, at J6.

A14 Northamptonshire - Road closed on A14 eastbound at J6, Glendon, because of an accident involving a lorry and a car. Diversion in operation - via the exit and entry slip roads.

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

Festival musicians to perform from their own homes

Caroline Lowbridge

BBC News Online

Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason has signed up to perform as part of a festival being live-streamed from Nottingham.

Light Hustle was due to take place in the city on 4 April but the artists will now be playing from their own homes.


Sheku was the first black winner of the BBC's Young Musician of the Year, performed at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and has been appointed an MBE.

Other artists performing include Natalie Duncan, Nina Smith and Rob Green.

People can watch from 15:00 BST on the Hockley Hustle or Circle of Light Facebook pages.

Severe disruption: M6 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire southbound severe disruption, between J4 for M42 and J3 for A444 Bedworth Bypass Nuneaton.

M6 Warwickshire - Lane blocked on M6 southbound between J4, M42 (Coleshill) and J3, A444 (Nuneaton), because of an obstruction.

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

Rainbows decorate police vehicles

Caroline Gall

BBC News

Some West Midlands Police vehicles are displaying artwork created by children in Leicestershire.

Schools have been encouraging pupils to put up rainbow paintings to "spread hope" during the coronovirus pandemic, after a trend started online.

View more on twitter

Coronavirus drive-through test centres for NHS workers

Sue Nicholson

BBC News

NHS testing station at Chessington World of Adventures

NHS workers are being tested for coronavirus at two temporary drive-through testing stations.

Retailer Boots opened the facilities in the car park of Chessington World of Adventures in Surrey, and at its headquarters in Beeston, Nottinghamshire.

The centres are there to support the government's bid to test doctors and nurses who have been self-isolating and are unsure whether they have the virus.

The sites are for NHS staff by invitation only, the company said.

British Summer Time begins

Kris Holland

BBC News

The clocks moved forward overnight, meaning we have lost an hour of sleep with the transition from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to British Summer Time (BST).

But, as the Reverend Richard Coles observes, unless you had to be up for weekend working or such like... you probably didn't notice in the current environment.

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: A5 Northamptonshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A5 Northamptonshire both ways severe disruption, between A43 and Upper Stowe Turn-off.

A5 Northamptonshire - A5 closed in both directions between the A43 junction in Towcester and the Upper Stowe Turn-off junction in Upper Stowe, because of overrunning roadworks.

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

Severe disruption: A1(M) Cambridgeshire southbound

BBC News Travel

A1(M) Cambridgeshire southbound severe disruption, from J17 for A1 Great North Road Peterborough to J16 for A15 London Road Norman Cross.

A1(M) Cambridgeshire - One lane closed on A1(M) southbound from J17, A1 (Peterborough) to J16, A15 (Norman Cross), because of debris on the road. Traffic is coping well.

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

Companies to review parking levy due to coronavirus

Kit Sandeman

Local Democracy Reporter

Companies in Nottingham have been asked to review the fees they pay to have car parking spaces in light of the coronavirus outbreak, the city council has said.

The workplace parking levy (WPL) means any employer with more than 11 parking spaces has to pay £415 per year per space.

Magnum Photos

This was set to increase to £424 from April 1, but now an email has been sent out to companies asking them to take account of staff not currently in the workplaces.

The Labour-run council has written to companies who have previously paid the fee, saying it "recognises the extraordinary situation facing the country as a result of the pandemic", and that the number of parking spaces needed for the city's employers will have reduced.

More than 4,000 flowers donated to hospital staff

Sarah Ward

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Staff battling against the coronavirus at Kettering Hospital have been showered with flowers as a thank you for their efforts.

Four thousand bunches have been donated this week, along with food and chocolates.

Alice Powers, from the hospital's wellbeing task force, formed earlier this week, said the flowers, donated by three supermarkets, "made a few people cry".

Nurses at Kettering Hospital
Kettering General Hospital

Ice cream seller Gallones is delivering food packages twice-weekly for busy staff who do not have time to get to the supermarket.

The boxes include toilet roll, milk and bread, while the ice cream freezers are stocked with items such as frozen pizza.

Greggs has donated 7,000 biscuits, while supermarkets have also provided food and chocolates.

The hospital has 4,000 staff at its site in Rothwell Road and this week doubled its number of intensive care beds from 15 to 30 as it prepares for an influx of COVID-19 patients.

Watch: East Midlands makes a noise to say thanks to NHS

Thousands of people across the East Midlands stepped out of their homes on Thursday night to applaud NHS workers and carers working during the coronavirus pandemic.

The result was emotional....

Severe disruption: M1 Leicestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Leicestershire northbound severe disruption, at J21 for M69.

M1 Leicestershire - One lane closed on M1 northbound at J21, M69 (Leicester), because of debris on the road.

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

Severe disruption: M1 Leicestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Leicestershire southbound severe disruption, between J19 for M6 and J18 for A5.

M1 Leicestershire - One lane closed on M1 southbound between J19, M6 (Catthorpe Interchange) and J18, A5 (Rugby), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Around 70 rough sleepers in city to be taken off streets

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Around 70 rough sleepers in Coventry will be taken off the streets over the weekend to help protect them from the coronavirus, the city council has said.

The authority said it had already found homes for half of them and was trying to move as many as possible today.

Homeless man

All rough sleepers in the city centre have also been provided with mobile phones and hand sanitiser.

Local councils across the country have been told they need to clear all rough sleepers off the streets and get them into shelters by the weekend.

Saints rugby players dance to keep fit in pandemic break

Pete Cooper

BBC News

England and Northampton full-back George Furbank and his Saints team-mate (and housemate) Alex Mitchell have found a bit of rhythm to keep fit during the enforced break in the Rugby Premiership and Six Nations due to coronavirus.

The pair, along with the rest of the Saints players and some of the staff, have taken a 25% pay cut to help ease the financial pressure during the enforced break.

View more on twitter

People in Peterborough appear to not be following social distancing rules

Photos from Peterborough city centre appear to show many people not adhering to the new rules set out by the government about social distancing and when to leave your home.

Terry Harris

Under the restrictions, people must stay at home and only leave for the following reasons:

  • to exercise once a day - either alone, or with members of your household
  • shopping for basic necessities, although this should be done as little as possible
  • medical need or to provide care for a vulnerable person
  • travel to or from work but only where this is absolutely necessary
Men on a bench
Terry Harris

If you have to go outside - to buy food for example - you must stay more than 2m (6.5ft) apart from others. This is social distancing.

Its purpose is to cut down non-essential contact and stop the spread of the virus.

Cambridgeshire Police said most people were sticking to the rules but "unfortunately there are still some who are ignoring the guidance".

A spokeswoman said: "Our officers will continue to be out and about... to proactively communicate with these people and stress the importance of following the new rules in order to reduce the risk of harm to others."

Coronavirus: Moving house during a pandemic
David and Ruth Arnold say they had no choice to move as they had signed a new rental contract.

Thank you signs appear to support emergency services

As well as clapping in support of the NHS, people have been putting up signs to show their appreciation.

Thank you sign

This sign thanking all emergency workers was found near the gingerbread man roundabout at Market Drayton.

Thank you sign
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service

Council 'to spend millions' on coronavirus safety kit

Kit Sandeman

Local Democracy Reporter

Nottingham City Council is expected to spend £3.6m on equipment to keep staff safe during the coronavirus outbreak.

An advertisement has gone out to suppliers, seeking personal protective equipment (PPE) on behalf of a wide range of public sector organisations in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

Person using PPE equipment
Getty Images

It means schools, housing associations and health bodies can quickly and more easily use the same advert to buy PPE and other equipment.

Council-owned companies, such as Robin Hood Energy and Nottingham City Transport, are also eligible to use the contract.

The availability of PPE has been a key issue in recent days and weeks, with suppliers facing significant pressure as the demand increases significantly.

Nottingham City Council has been approached for comment.

Nottigham City Council

Severe disruption: M1 Buckinghamshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Buckinghamshire northbound severe disruption, between J14 for A509 and J15 for A45.

M1 Buckinghamshire - One lane blocked on M1 northbound between J14, A509 (Milton Keynes) and J15, A45 (Northampton), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

HS2 protesters evicted amid coronavirus pandemic

People camped in ancient woodland have been evicted after a long-running dispute with high-speed rail project, HS2.

The protesters, who fear the scheme will have a catastrophic effect on the environment, filmed the moment bailiffs arrived at the Warwickshire site, where they've been camped for almost six months.

Police in mask

Workers wore masks during the process, with HS2 saying protesters had put them at risk.

It was granted a court order to remove campaigners.

Watch: Today's weather for the East Midlands

BBC Weather

It's set to be another sunny day, but a little bit chillier - and temperatures are set to drop further for the weekend.

Watch: Today's weather for the East Midlands

A close shave for air ambulance clinicians

Shaving products have been donated to a team of volunteer clinicians working for the Magpas Air Ambulance.

The team needed a close shave every eight hours, to make sure their surgical masks were "airtight", it said.

View more on twitter

Police investigate after body found in Nottingham Canal

Alex Regan

BBC News

A man's body has been recovered from Nottingham Canal.

Police said they were called to part of the canal near Wilford Street at 10:25 and his death is being treated as unexplained.

A spokesperson added: "The circumstances are still being investigated."

Police tent on Nottingham Canal

Coronavirus: Appeal for former professional signallers

Samantha Noble

BBC News Online

Former professional signallers in the East Midlands are being asked to return to the railways to keep the network running during the coronavirus crisis.

Network Rail is keeping signal boxes and control centres across the region open 24/7 so railway services can continue running.

Chris Gee, from Network Rail, said: “We are working hard to keep vital services in place as these get key workers to their jobs and keep food and medical supplies across the country moving.

“We are appealing for signallers who’ve retired, moved on to other careers at Network Rail or left the railway to come back and help us keep signal boxes and control centres open."

Network Rail appeal for former signallers
Network Rail

He said signallers were "crucial to keep the railway open" and they need former workers to provide back-up if staff can’t come to work.

"Full re-training will be given," he said.

The roles will be in the East Midlands Control Centre and at signal boxes across the region.