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Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, from J6 for A4538 Pershore Lane to J5 for A38 Droitwich.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed on M5 northbound from J6, A4538 (Worcester) to J5, A38 (Droitwich), because of a car that's broken down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, at J5 for A452.

M6 West Midlands - M6 lane closed on exit slip road northbound at J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe congestion: A45 West Midlands eastbound

BBC News Travel

A45 West Midlands eastbound severe congestion, between Sir Henry Parkes Road and A429 Kenilworth Road.

A45 West Midlands - It's slow on A45 Kenpas Highway eastbound in Canley between the Sir Henry Parkes Road junction and the A429 Kenilworth Road junction.

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

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire southbound severe disruption, from J4A for M42 to J5 for A38 Droitwich.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed on M5 southbound from J4a M42 to J5, A38 (Droitwich), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, from J6 for A4538 Pershore Lane to J5 for A38 Droitwich.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed on M5 northbound from J6, A4538 (Worcester) to J5, A38 (Droitwich), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Weather: Rain forecast this weekend

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

If you were planning a barbeque this weekend, you might want to wait until Sunday, because we're forecast rain tomorrow.

It's looking a lot better next week though.

Weather forecast for the West Midlands

New provider found for special school bus service

A new provider has been found to run minibuses to special schools in Birmingham.

The city council says it has awarded the contract to West Midlands Accessible Transport Ltd, a subsidiary of National Express, and the service will start in September.

Special needs bus
BBC

A new provider has been needed since the previous main provider, ATG, went into administration in March.

West Coast Main Line rail passengers face disruption

Rail passengers using the West Coast Main Line through the West Midlands can expect major disruption, because of engineering work which is due to start tomorrow.

For the next 16 days Network Rail is upgrading track, cabling, overhead lines and signalling at the Acton Grange junction between Crewe and Preston.

Railway track
Network Rail

Trains will be diverted during the £27m project, with replacement buses also running.

A full list of services affected is available on the Network Rail website, alongside details of replacement buses.

Police pay rise 'could cost 37 officers'

Thirty seven police officers could be lost from the West Midlands force unless the government funds the pay rise it's set to announce, says the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

Police officer
West Midlands Police

The armed forces will get a 2.9% rise, teachers and school staff 2.75%, police officers, dentists and consultants 2.5%, senior civil servants 2%, the Times said.

It is thought the rise will come from existing budgets.

PCC David Jamieson said the estimated pay rise could leave the force needing to spend a further £1.8m from its current budget.

Since I’ve been commissioner I’ve had to watch as the number of police officers plummet and crime rises. Whilst I welcome any plans to pay our hard working officers a salary which they all fully deserve, I am very concerned that there are no plans to fund the pay rise."

David JamiesonWest Midlands Police and Crime Commi

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, between J10 for A454 Wolverhampton Road Wolverhampton and J10A for M54.

M6 West Midlands - One lane closed on M6 northbound between J10, A454 (Wolverhampton) and J10a M54, because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

NHS pensions row 'could cost equivalent of 60 consultants'

The chief executive of an NHS trust in the West Midlands says that he expects to lose the work equivalent to that done by 60 consultants, as doctors reduce the amount of overtime they do.

Surgery
PA Media

Consultants have begun refusing to work beyond their planned hours after receiving unexpected tax bills, following new pension rules in 2016.

The government has indicated it will come up with new proposals in an attempt to resolve the dispute, which has led to increased waiting times for routine surgery.

Currently we've probably lost in the region of, the equivalent of, ten consultants. But the way things are going we could easily lose the equivalent of sixty consultants in terms of overtime lost, and that's a lot of patients whose care will be delayed.

Dr David RossirChief Executive, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, between J6 for A38 and J5 for A452.

M6 West Midlands - One lane closed on M6 southbound between J6 A38(M) Aston Expressway Spaghetti Junction and J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe accident: M6 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire southbound severe accident, between J3A for M6 Toll and Corley Services.

M6 Warwickshire - Two lanes closed on M6 southbound between J3a M6 Toll and Corley Services, because of an accident.

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

Thousands expected at 'Europe's largest' Mela

Thousands of people are expected at the Sandwell & Birmingham Mela this weekend for what claims to be the biggest Asian music festival in Europe.

The annual event, now in it's ninth year, takes place at Victoria Park, Smethwick on Saturday and Sunday.

Mela
Sandwell Council

The event showcases some of the best in pop, folk, and classical music from across the globe as well as dance acts and arts activities.

The event showcases the West Midlands "at its diverse, lively and open best", said Sandwell Council's leader Yvonne Davies.

There will be road closures in the area for the duration of the festival, with drivers being warned to allow extra time for journeys.

View more on twitter

Plans for flood plain homes to be decided

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Here are three more of the stories written by the Local Democracy Reporters today:

  • A bid to reopen a pub called the Moonshine Inn in Birmingham has been rejected by councillors over concerns about noise, nuisance. One neighbour also objected to its name, because Moonshine is the term used for a high-strength illegally distilled alcohol.
  • A plan to build 62 affordable homes near a floodplain near Worcester, which were rejected once over flooding fears, will go before council planners again next week.
  • Concerns have been raised about the lack of sprinklers included in the plans to refurbish Wolverhampton's Civic Halls.

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, between J6 for A4538 Pershore Lane and J5 for A38 Droitwich.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed and it's slow on M5 northbound between J6, A4538 (Worcester) and J5, A38 (Droitwich), because of a break down.

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

Severe disruption: M42 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, at J5 for A41 Solihull By-Pass Solihull.

M42 West Midlands - Two lanes closed on M42 southbound at J5, A41 (Solihull), because of a break down.

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

Stormtroopers and classic toys at Star Wars exhibition

Star Wars toys and memorabilia are going on display this weekend, and you won't have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to see them.

The May the Toys Be With You exhibition opens at the Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum tomorrow morning and these Stormtroopers will be there, to welcome the first visitors.

Stormtroopers
Museums Worcestershire

Visitors are being encouraged to dress up in their own Star Wars costumes for the opening and children can dress up as Jedi and play with lightsabers.

It's the first time this touring exhibition, which features a number of vintage toys, has been to the West Midlands.

Stormtroopers and toy
Museums Worcestershire

Severe disruption: A453 West Midlands both ways

BBC News Travel

A453 West Midlands both ways severe disruption, between Perry Common Road and The Ridgeway.

A453 West Midlands - A453 College Road in Kingstanding closed and it's slow in both directions between the Perry Common Road junction and The Ridgeway junction, because of a police investigation.

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

BreakingBoy in hospital after stabbing

A boy, believed to be 17, has been stabbed in the Kingstanding area of Birmingham this afternoon.

West Midlands Police said officers were called at around 15:00 and have sealed off an area around College Road.

The boy has been taken to hospital with "serious injuries".

Diver Rick Stanton honoured over Thai cave rescue

A British diver who helped to save 12 boys and their football coach from a flooded cave in Thailand has been honoured by Coventry University.

Rick Stanton
Coventry University

Rick Stanton, from Coventry, was one of the first rescuers to reach the boys and their football coach who were stranded in the flooded Tham Luang cave in 2018.

The retired firefighter was recognised for his "dedication to public service and bravery in the line of duty," and accepted an honorary degree making him an honorary Doctor of Technology.

He said: “I'm extremely proud to be awarded in this manner by my local university, and recognised for the innovative concepts I have developed for practical application."

He has also received awards from the West Midlands Fire Service, the Royal Humane Society, the Pride of Britain Awards, Coventry’s Award of Merit as well as and an MBE and the George Medal.

How the Thai cave boys were rescued

If I could impart one bit of advice to the students who are graduating this summer, it would be to say that, if you are following your passion then you will intrinsically have the motivation to continue through obstacles and challenges, even when external rewards are lacking."

Rick Stanton

City looks to immortalise famous figures

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Some of Worcester's most famous faces could be immortalised on traffic roundabouts around the city.

The city council is offering to pay an artist £10,000 to create a number of sculptures, remembering figures such as the cricketer Basil D'Oliveira, music hall performer Vesta Tilley (pictured below) and aviator Sheila Scott.

Vesta Tilley
Getty Images

Other suggestions for historic figures who deserve some recognition include King John, who is buried at Worcester Cathedral, and the Grand National winning racehorse Pineau de Re.

The council has a £100,000 fund to create works of art around the city and has also considered creating a large piece of public art, as a focal point for visitors.

Crews tackle M40 lorry fire

BBC News Travel

Firefighters are at the scene of a lorry fire on the M40 between J15 and J16 in Warwickshire.

Drivers are being warned of delays in the area.

View more on twitter

BreakingHuman bones found in septic tank are 'adult female'

Human bones found in a septic tank are that of an adult female, a post-mortem examination has concluded.

Kempsey
BBC

West Mercia Police are probing the disappearance of a woman from Kempsey in 1982.

The bones, found on Friday 12 July, will now be forensically tested to try to obtain DNA for identification, police said.

Det Ch Insp Carl Moore said although the find was "concerning for the community" and there was "speculation surrounding the remains", further tests could be a "lengthy process".

Trespassers delaying rail services

BBC News Travel

Trespassers on the line between Wolverhampton and Coseley are delaying rail services through these stations.

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: M40 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Warwickshire northbound severe disruption, from J15 for A46 Warwick By Pass Warwick to J16 for A3400 Stratford Road.

M40 Warwickshire - Two lanes closed and queues on M40 northbound from J15, A46 (Warwick) to J16, A3400 (Henley In Arden), because of a vehicle on fire.

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

Seventeen-year-old arrested after 'serious' crash

A man is being questioned by police following a serious crash in Solihull last night, police say.

A 65-year-old man was taken to hospital with serious injuries after the crash involving two vehicles at the junction with Marshall Lake Road and Straford Road in Shirley at about 23:30.

The man remains in a critical but stable condition.

The 17-year-old was arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Severe accident: M42 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Warwickshire northbound severe accident, between M42 J8 and J9 for A4097 Kingsbury Road Curdworth.

M42 Warwickshire - One lane closed and it's slow on M42 northbound between M42 J8 and J9, A4097 (Curdworth), because of an accident.

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

Severe disruption: M5 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, between J2 for A4123 Wolverhampton Road Oldbury and J1 for A41 Birmingham Road West Bromwich.

M5 West Midlands - It's slow on M5 northbound between J2, A4123 (Oldbury) and J1, A41 (West Bromwich), because of a break down earlier. Congestion to J3 (Halesowen / Birmingham). In the roadworks area. All lanes have been re-opened.

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

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, from J4A for M42 J8 to J5 for A452.

M6 West Midlands - One lane closed and it's slow on M6 northbound in Warwickshire from J4a M42 J8 to J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich), because of a break down.

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

Mum 'scarred physically and mentally by carjacking'

Officers investigating a carjacking that saw a four-week-old baby taken are issuing a fresh appeal, a year on from the incident.

Clare O'Neill was run over as she battled to stop the men driving off with baby Eliza, outsider outside her home in Acocks Green, Birmingham, on 19 July 2018.

Baby Eliza
West Midlands Police

Mother and daughter were reunited 45 minutes later, but Mrs O'Neill was left with injuries that she is still living with.

“Eliza will be 13 months old on Saturday, she said.

"She’s a beautiful, happy, engaging and active baby. She’s taking her first steps, chatting away and eating us out of house and home! We count our blessings every day that she was returned safely to us."

Clare said she still lives with anxiety as well as physical injuries.

"My achilles, back and hip hurt on a daily basis. My teeth are still numb and I only have 50% sensation in my elbow. I also still can’t fully bend one of my fingers."

No arrests have been made, said West Midlands Police.

In October Clare told the BBC what happened

JLR trials plastic recycling process for car parts

Plastic household waste, destined for landfill or incinerators could be used in the car manufacturing process, says carmaker Jaguar Land Rover.

I-Pace
Jaguar Land Rover

The company is trialing a recycling process aimed at converting plastic waste into new premium-grade material which it says could be used for car parts and interiors.

The carmaker is working with chemical company BASF on a pilot project called ChemCycling, using plastics to replace fossil resources.

Pilot phase material is being used in a Jaguar I-Pace prototype to verify it meets the stringent safety requirements of the original part, said JLR.

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, from J8 for M5 to J9 for A461 Wood Green Road.

M6 West Midlands - Temporary closure and queues on M6 northbound from J8 M5 to J9, A461 (Wednesbury), because of people on the road.

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

LDRS: Council leader admits gull problem has got worse

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Here's a brief look at some of the stories that have been covered by the Local Democracy Reporting Service in the last 24 hours:

  • The leader of Worcester City Council has admitted the gull problem in the city is worse than last year and he will be looking at "all the options afresh" - but councillor Marc Bayliss has not backed a cull.
  • A rough sleepers outreach service in Staffordshire will get funding for another three years from East Staffordshire Borough Council.
  • Worcester City Council has made a commitment to locating and developing more community gardens and orchards across the city after a successful partnership at Newtown Green.