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Review to examine costs and benefits of HS2 rail project

The government is launching a review of the planned high-speed HS2 rail link - with a “go or no-go" decision to be made by the end of the year, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said.

HS2
HS2

A branch of the rail link is set to run through South Yorkshire and on to Leeds while another stretch of the route is planned to run into North Yorkshire.

The review will consider whether and how the project to connect London and northern England should proceed, looking at costs and benefits.

Mr Shapps refused to rule out scrapping the project entirely and said it was "responsible" to see if it was "going to stack up".

HS2
BBC

The first segment of the HS2 development between London and Birmingham is due to open at the end of 2026, with the second phase to Leeds and Manchester scheduled for completion by 2032-33.

When asked about the £7bn already spent on the project, Mr Shapps said: "Just because you've spent a lot of money on something does not mean you should plough more and more money into it."

A final report will be sent to the government in the autumn.

Call for planned Sheffield Ikea cycle lane to be installed

Campaigners are calling for Ikea in Sheffield to install a half-mile bike lane outside the store, which was originally supposed to be included as part of plans to develop the site.

IKEA
BBC

The conditions regarding the installation of the cycle track were so poorly written by Sheffield Council that they were unenforceable, the BBC has learned.

Now the famous Scandinavian flat-pack firm says it has "carried out some improvements to footway routes" in the area.

Sheffield Council says it was disappointed to hear Ikea wouldn't be building the cycle lane and that "lessons would be learned".

In a statement, a council spokesperson said: "We have now begun a review to make sure any conditions we do recommend to a developer are transferred into full planning applications and subsequent developments, and that this process is better monitored.”

Police wearing helmets return to South Yorkshire's streets

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Police officers wearing helmets have made a return to the streets of South Yorkshire with the county's officers reverting to a more traditional appearance.

Dixon of Dock Green
BBC

Although the distinctive tall helmets, as worn by BBC TV's Dixon of Dock Green (pictured), were never officially phased out, they fell out of normal use in South Yorkshire.

However, Ch Con Stephen Watson now says: “I like police to look like police.”

The move means tall helmets for male officers on walking duties, bowlers for their female colleagues and flat caps for those using vehicles.

Although officers will still wear the practical uniform for everyday duties, they are also being re-issued with white shirts and the "number one" uniform with tunics, more familiar from an earlier era.

Mr Watson said: "It is about resetting old fashioned standards. We are increasingly seeing people smarten themselves up. The cops love it."

The new uniforms policy is part of Mr Watson’s work to revitalise the force which has been going on since he took over to address a series of failings.

Wednesday's Yorkshire weather forecast

BBC Weather

Southwesterly winds will tend to strengthen today, and although there will be some bright or sunny spells, a few light showers or spots of rain are likely.

Tonight, there'll be outbreaks of rain, which should ease during the early hours:

Weather graphic
BBC

Yorkshire contestants to star in Great British Bake Off

A fashion designer from Halifax and a support worker from Rotherham are among four of the 13 contestants taking part in this year's Great British Bake Off.

The programme returns to Channel 4 on Tuesday 27 August, the third series since it moved across from BBC One.

Helena
C4/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon/PA Wire

Online project manager Helena (pictured above), 40, lives in Leeds and spent much of her childhood watching her Spanish grandmother cook and bake.

Sportswear fashion designer, Amelia, 24, is from Halifax and honed her baking skills while at university.

David
C4/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon/PA Wire

International health adviser David (pictured above), 36, is originally from Yorkshire and as a child, his mum baked all the time, meaning the family never ate a shop-bought loaf at home.

Finally, support worker Dan, 32, is from Rotherham. He says he has fond memories of his mum showing him how to bake a Victoria sponge as a child.

East Yorks wind farm failure highlighted over blackout

A lightning strike followed by "almost simultaneous unexpected power losses" at two energy plants, including one in East Yorkshire, caused country-wide blackouts earlier this month, an interim report has found.

Electricity pylons
PA Media

The failure at Hornsea off-shore wind farm and Little Barford gas power station in Bedfordshire occurred independently, the report from National Grid Electricity System Operator said.

The power cut was so severe that back-up power wasn't enough to get systems back on.

As a result, the system automatically disconnected customers on the distribution network with about 5% of electricity demand being turned off to protect the other 95%.

Much of York was affected by the power cut and passengers were trapped on trains on the East Coast Mainline in Yorkshire.

Yorkshire's Tuesday weather forecast

Areas of cloud could bring a few showers or spots of rain through the day, with some of the showers perhaps on the thundery side this afternoon.

It will be dry tonight with clear periods at times, but areas of cloud, and perhaps the odd shower, could occasionally drift in from the south-west:

A weather graphic
BBC

Check your Yorkshire train journey

BBC News Travel

If you're making a journey on the rails in Yorkshire this Tuesday morning, most services appear to be running to time.

However:

  • The 08:39 Leeds to Newcastle service has been cancelled
  • The 09:30 Doncaster to Kings Cross service has been cancelled

For all the latest live updates from the county's main railway stations, click on the links below:

Yorkshire transport spending a third of London's - Report

Yorkshire's transport system is set to get less than a third of the money the government plans to spend on London's, new research shows.

bus
BBC

The figures show that out of the 12 regions making up the UK, Yorkshire is one of the worst funded overall.

The research by IPPR North claims Yorkshire will receive £321 a year on transport for each person. In London the figure is more than treble that, standing at £1,023.

The think tank says the imbalance is holding back the North's economy and devolving power away from Whitehall is the best way forward.

But the Department for Transport says the figures are misleading.

Dutch firm Abellio takes over East Midlands rail franchise

A new train operator for the East Midlands says it will invest £600m over the next eight years as it starts running services on routes from Yorkshire and Lincolnshire to London.

The new EMR branding
BBC

The firm won the contract after Stagecoach was disqualified from bidding as it refused to take on pension liabilities.

Abellio, owned by the Dutch government-owned rail firm, has promised new trains, 165 new carriages, and improved infrastructure.

East Midlands Trains will now be called East Midlands Railway (EMR).

It said £400m would be spent on 33 five-carriage trains, which will include air conditioning, wi-fi and plug sockets for passengers.

Monday's Yorkshire weather forecast

BBC Weather

A bright and breezy day is expected, with some good spells of sunshine.

Occasional heavy showers may turn thundery at times.

Any daytime showers will fade through this evening:

Weather graphic
BBC

Yorkshire Water flood prevention tree planting scheme

Yorkshire Water has pledged to reduce its carbon footprint by planting more trees across the county.

Tree planting
BBC

Several water companies have agreed to plant 11 million trees over the next decade.

Work has already started in the Calder Valley to plant 200,000 young trees near Hebden Bridge.

The area was one of the worst hit in Yorkshire during severe flooding in December 2015.

The company says it hopes this will help prevent future flooding in the area.

Yorkshire's wet Friday weather forecast

BBC Weather

Showery rain is expected to clear for a while, to then be followed by further rain through the afternoon.

A few scattered showers are possible overnight, but on the whole it will be largely dry and clear:

Weather graphic
BBC

Watch: Thursday's forecast for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

Gillian Brown

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

There will be a few showers around this morning but they will clear away quite quickly and it'll turn dry and bright day for most.

Temperatures could get up to 21C in places:

Check your Yorkshire train journey

BBC News Travel

If you're making a journey on the rails in Yorkshire this Thursday morning, most services appear to be running to time, however:

  • The 08:55 service from York to Edinburgh is running about 24 minutes late
  • The 09:01 service from Wakefield Westgate to Leeds is running about 24 minutes late
  • The 09:15 service from Doncaster to Leeds is running about 15 minutes late
  • The 09:35 service from Doncaster to Sheffield has been cancelled

For all the latest live updates from the county's main railway stations, click on the links below:

Yorkshire's Thursday weather forecast

BBC Weather

A few scattered showers are possible through the morning, but for most places it should be largely dry with clouds breaking through the morning to allow a good deal of sunshine.

Tonight will start dry and clear, but cloud will build quickly ahead of heavy, showery rain moving in from the west:

weather graphic
BBC

Road safety needs its own Greta Thunberg, says PCC

Local Democracy Reporting Service

South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner says a personality like teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is needed to change people's attitudes to road safety and using a phone while driving.

Greta Thunberg
PA Media

Using mobile handsets at the wheel is illegal and attracts six penalty points where drivers are caught, but a report published by MPs on the Commons Transport Select Committee suggests hands-free devices can be just as distracting to motorists.

Dr Alan Billings, however, warned that widespread prosecution of drivers could cause a public backlash unless the level of risk was properly understood by the public

He said: “We need a Greta Thunberg to tell us how to behave properly on the road.”

Watch: Wednesday's forecast for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

Owain Wyn Evans

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

It'll be a cloudy day with very heavy outbreaks of rain, especially in southern Lincolnshire.

Temperatures will get up to about 18C:

Check your Yorkshire train journey

BBC News Travel

If you're making a journey on the rails in Yorkshire this Wednesday morning, there are a large number of delayed and cancelled services due to a points failure between Newcastle and Durham and overrunning engineering works near Mirfield.

For all the latest live updates from the county's main railway stations, click on the links below:

Yorkshire's wet Wednesday weather forecast

BBC Weather

Outbreaks of rain are possible in places this morning and this afternoon with dry intervals.

Through the evening and overnight cloud cover will tend to be extensive and further outbreaks of rain may move in from time to time:

Weather graphic
BBC

Wider hoses transform South Yorkshire firefighting effort

A specially widened fire hose is transforming the way crews fight blazes in South Yorkshire, according to the fire service.

A firefighter with the new hose
BBC

A new hose which is 3mm wider than the hoses fire crews usually use is being trialled, with more than double the amount of water being used to extinguish blazes.

The normal hoses are 19mm wide and can deliver about 100 litres per minute, but the new hoses are able to deliver almost 230 litres of water.

Bomb squad called to Sheffield road

The Army bomb squad has been called to a road in Sheffield following reports of "suspicious items" being found in the street.

Police were called at about 12:20 this afternoon to reports of the items on Herries Road, Norwood.

It's thought the items are railway detonators which are used by rail staff to warn maintenance workers of approaching trains.

They "are not believed to pose a risk to the public", according to South Yorkshire Police.

A cordon is in place as a precautionary measure, the force adds.

Toilets and cricket are among 'top' Yorkshire experiences

A toilet in East Yorkshire has made it onto a list of the UK's top 500 unmissable experiences and hidden gems.

Hull toilets
Peter Williams

Spending a penny at Hull's Victoria Pier toilets scraped in near the bottom of the list at number 483 on the tourism guide published by the Lonely Planet.

Other attractions sporting fewer tiles and less porcelain included the Yorkshire Dales National Park (number 18), Robin Hood's Bay (26) and, in at number 30, York Minster.

Dales/Robin Hoods Bay/York Minster
Geograph/Peter Church/Pauline E/BBC

Birdwatchers will be pleased that Bempton Cliffs, an internationally important nature reserve at Flamborough Head in East Yorkshire, made it on to the list at number 136.

And Saltaire, a grand social experiment in West Yorkshire, is listed at 224.

Sir Titus Salt, who made his fortune in the textile industry, built Saltaire mill near Bradford and an adjoining village for his workers.

The village has been designated a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Bempton/Saltaire
RSPB/David Dixon/Geograph

Other Yorkshire wonders in the top 500 UK experiences include the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield and Middleham Castle in Wensleydale.

And also making it onto the eclectic list is cliff-top cricket watching in Sewerby:

Cricket
J Thomas/Geograph

In all, 40 of Yorkshire's enticing attractions were included on the list of the best British experiences.

Watch: Tuesday's forecast for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

Owain Wyn Evans

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

It'll be mostly dry and bright today but there could be a few isolated showers in places.

Temperatures will get up to 19C:

Check your Yorkshire train journey

BBC News Travel

If you're making a journey on the rails in Yorkshire this Tuesday morning, most services appear to be running to time, however:

  • The 09:06 service from Sheffield to Adwick has been cancelled
  • The 09:31 service from Bradford Interchange to Leeds has been cancelled

For all the latest live updates from the county's main railway stations, click on the links below:

Yorkshire's Tuesday weather forecast

BBC Weather

A dry day with sunny spells with occasional showers and gentle westerly winds.

This evening and overnight is expected to remain dry with long clear spells and a gentle breeze:

Weather graphic
BBC

South Yorkshire to keep Pacer trains in 2020

Northern's much-criticised Pacer trains will still be in use next year in South Yorkshire, despite a pledge to replace them with a new £500m fleet by the end of the year.

A Pacer train
BBC

The BBC previously reported the trains could still be on the rails next year, but Northern has confirmed the trains will still run in the county in 2020.

The much-derided Pacer trains were built in the 1980s from the body of a bus frame and intended to have a maximum lifespan of 20 years.

Yorkshire's Monday weather forecast

BBC Weather

Rain may linger for a time this morning, together with low cloud.

The afternoon should be brighter with the chance of a few sharp showers.

Showers are expected to continue through the evening and overnight:

Weather graphic
BBC

Crowd safety concerns lead to Hillsborough no-go areas

Home supporters leaving Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough Stadium will no longer be allowed to use part of the ground amid concerns over crowd safety.

Hillsborough
PA Media

There were reports last year of home and away supporters clashing on the Leppings Lane forecourt where away fans are based before and after matches at the ground.

A report was commissioned by South Yorkshire Police to look at how the area could be safer for all supporters.

Home fans will now be banned from the area as a way to make it safer after the report identified a risk of overcrowding and the threat of disorder.

Sheffield City Council, which is the certifying authority for the club, said a prohibition notice had been served, stopping home supporters using the area.

Yorkshire's wet and windy Friday weather forecast

There will be some rain at the start of the day, this heavy in places, but it should clear during the morning.

The afternoon will have sunny spells and showers and it will become increasingly windy.

It will become increasingly windy this evening and tonight, with strong south-westerly winds expected by morning.

There will be a chance of showers overnight, some of them heavy and perhaps thundery:

A weather graphic
BBC

Yorkshire rainy and windy weather warning issued

Warnings for rain and wind are in force across nearly all of the UK - including Yorkshire - today with unseasonal weather expected to cause some disruption.

A flood sign
Getty Images

Several festivals and events have been cancelled across the country as forecasters warned of strong wind and heavy rain.

A yellow "be aware" weather warning is in place for much of Yorkshire, with lots of rain expected today and windy weather at the weekend.

The Environment Agency says its staff are ready to respond to any problems caused by the heavy rain that's forecast.

Ben Lukey, who's one of the agency's flood duty managers, said flood alerts and flood warnings will be issued if needed.

He's urging people to stay away from any swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water, as just 1ft of flowing water is enough to move a car.

Check your Yorkshire train journey

BBC News Travel

If you're making a journey on the rails in Yorkshire this Friday morning, most services appear to be running to time.

However:

  • The 09:30 Doncaster to London Kings Cross service has been cancelled
  • The 10:14 Bradford Interchange to York service has been cancelled

For all the latest live updates from the county's main railway stations, click on the links below: