England, United Kingdom

Latest Stories

Bristol Airport opens electric vehicle charging bays

Bristol Airport opens ten electric vehicle charging points in its multi-storey car park
Bristol Airport
Electric vehicle charging points at Bristol Airport

Charging points for ten electric vehicles have been opened at Bristol Airport.

The charging bays, called Pod Points, are in the airport's multi-storey car park.

Encouraging the use of electric vehicles is part of the airport's pledge to be a carbon neutral business by 2025 and have net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Drivers will need to download the free Pod Point app before arriving at the airport to use the facility. Anyone parked in the long stay or silver zone car parks will need to speak to a member of staff to get access.

A seven metre-wide model of the earth goes on display in Bristol
The model is designed to give people the same sensation astronauts experience when looking at Earth from space.

Giant earth model opens to the public

A seven metre-wide model of the earth goes on display in Bristol
A huge, spinning model of the planet has been opened to the public. 

The piece, named 'Gaia', is designed to give people the 'Overview Effect'. 

It's a sensation experienced by astronauts looking at earth which makes them feel more responsible for the planet. 

Gaia has been created by Bristol artist, Luke Jerram and is on display in the Great Hall in the Wills Memorial Building in Bristol. 

Video: Alex Howick

Bristol Royal Infirmary rated 'outstanding'

Getty Images

The trust that runs Bristol Royal Infirmary has been rated as 'outstanding' by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission.

The University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust - which also runs sites including the Children's Hospital and St Michael's Hospital - is one of only seven trusts in the country to rate so highly.

Of the 39 indicators which make up the trust's overall rating, 35 were rated 'good' or 'outstanding' although the 'safe' category was deemed to require improvement.

Ashton Gate: Feedback wanted on match day road closures

Bristol City Ashton Gate Stadium which is also home to the Bristol Bears Premiership Rugby team and holds major concerts
Bristol City's Ashton Gate Stadium

People living close to Bristol City's Ashton Gate stadium can comment on a road closure order being proposed by the city council.

The new traffic order would allow police to close Marsh Road and Ashton Road (west of the junction with Duckmoor Road) for up to two hours before and after football matches or concerts at the 27,000-capacity stadium.

The stadium can accommodate 34,000 people for major music concerts.

Temporary powers to close the roads are already in place. The application can be viewed on the council website and also at Bedminster Library on Bedminster Parade.

The deadline for feedback on the order is Friday 13 September.

Huge Gaia artwork opens

Giant model of planet earth

Bristol artist Luke Jerram's latest artwork goes on display in the city today.

Gaia is a huge inflatable model of the earth, and is intended to give visitors the 'overview effect', said to be experienced by some astronauts who look back at the planet from space.

The free exhibition will hang in the Wills Memorial Building at the University of Bristol from today until Sunday.

A-Levels: Number of students with top grades fall

Students celebrating
PA Media

The proportion of students achieving the top grades at A-level has fallen to its lowest level for more than a decade, this year's results show.

This year some 25.5% got an A grade or higher - the lowest level since 2007 when it was 25.3%.

Girls narrowly reclaimed the lead from boys, with 25.5% achieving A* and A grades compared with 25.4% of boys.

The overall pass rate remains the same as last year at 97.6% for students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The figures, released by the Joint Council for Qualifications, also show that - for the first time - the number of girls taking the three sciences has overtaken boys at 50.3% compared with 49.6%. There has been a big push to increase the take-up of sciences among girls.

Although far more boys - 30,159 - still took physics A-level, compared with 8,799 girls.

Six weeks after the last A-level exams were taken, more than 300,000 18-year-olds have ended the anxious wait to learn their A-level results.

For more on this year's A-Level results, click here.

Roadworks a 'nightmare' says residents

Wickwar roadworks

Commuters have described the road closures in the South Gloucestershire village of Wickwar as a "nightmare".

Wales and West Utilities is upgrading the gas network and has blocked off the top of the High Street, detouring traffic through the lanes around the village.

Those lanes are said to be narrow, one way and now muddy because of the rain, causing delays for those trying to pass through.

Number of tele-consultations 'will only increase'

Matthew Hill

BBC West health correspondent

David de Berker
Consultant dermatologist David de Berker assesses the images and decides which ones need a follow up

The teledermatology scheme has come into its own in recent years, by helping to address the national shortage of dermatologists.

For instance Taunton and Weston hospitals could not keep the specialist service going in-house and University Hospitals Bristol was only able to step in because this technology allowed consultants easy access to very sophisticated macro-photographic images of skin blemishes.

It carries out around 4,000 remote consultations a year through the teledermatology system which now makes up more than 10% of outpatient attendances a year.

It seems that trend will only increase over future years.

Unemployment lowest in South West

Unemployment figures

Unemployment in the South West was 2.7% in the three months ending June 2019, making it the lowest in the UK.

The UK’s unemployment rate edged up slightly to 3.9%, the new figures showed.

Employment was estimated at 76.1%, the joint highest since comparative records began in 1971.

Wage growth also picked up to 3.9%, the highest rate for 11 years, however figures released last week showed the economy shrank 0.2% in the second quarter, the first fall since 2012.

The highest unemployment rate in the UK was the North East (5.3%).

Read more:

Hundred-mile round trip avoided as GP offers teledermatology consultation

Vanessa Wilson Fitzgerald.

One of the patients who has benefited from the service is Vanessa Wilson Fitzgerald.

She visited her GP in Eddington after becoming concerned over a spot on her leg which will not go away.

Previously she would have had to make a 100-mile round trip to either Bristol or Exeter to see a specialist.

Ms Fitzgerald said if the service was not available, she "probably wouldn't go" as finding parking and finding the place "would give me a nightmare".

Her GP Dr Tony Wright uses a specialist camera to take a detailed picture of the area.and the images are passed on to consultant dermatologist David de Berker in Bristol for a same day examination.

Balloon Fiesta 2020 date announced

Bristol Balloon Fiesta
PA Media

Balloon International Fiesta organisers have announced the date for the festival will not change in 2020.

The fiesta will run from 6-9 August next year.

The announcement was made after members of the public called for the event's date to be moved after the Saturday night-glow was cancelled.

This years fiesta was hit with bad weather allowing only one ascent to take place.

Council threatened with legal action over clean air plans

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Car on the road in Bristol city centre

The government and an environmental law firm are threatening to sue Bristol City Council over its clean air plans.

The threats were sent in a letter from environment minister Therese Coffey to Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees and published by the government 7 August.

The letter also revealed environmental law firm and charity ClientEarth had additionally warned Bristol City Council could "trigger legal action" if they did not alter their plans to tackle emissions from private vehicles.

Mr Rees said the council is committed to improving air quality as quickly as possible and it is “already doing or planning to do” what Dr Coffey has ordered.

Private cars account for 44 per cent of road emissions, making them a major contributor to Bristol’s air pollution and the 300 associated deaths each year.

Bristol City Council's clean air plan consultation closed 12 August.

Weymouth medical bike 'not being withdrawn'

A medical bike with life-saving equipment will not be withdrawn from service in Weymouth but its future is under review.

There had been some speculation on social media that the rapid response bike would be "pulled".

But South Western Ambulance Service Trust said it was still being used on an "ad-hoc" basis because only one paramedic is trained to use it.

A petition to save the facility had attracted more than 2,000 signatures.

Police will be given £1.1m to tackle violent crime

Police officers
Getty Images

Avon and Somerset Police will receive £1.1m to set up teams to tackle violent crime.

The money will fund new violence reduction units that will bring together different organisations - including the police, local government, health and community leaders - to tackle violent crime by understanding its root causes.

The Government announced the cash injection today as part of a wider £35m investment in the 18 areas worst affected by serious violence.

The funds will be allocated from a pot of £100m set aside in March to tackle serious violence, the Home Office said.

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said: "To beat knife crime we must do two things: first we need assertive, high profile police enforcement and second, we need a coordinated approach to the long term solutions to violence in society, especially among the young."

"These new units should help us get results on both."

Greater Manchester, Merseyside, West Midlands and West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Northumbria, Thames Valley, Lancashire, Essex, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Bedfordshire, Sussex, Hampshire and South Wales and Kent will also receive money from the fund.

Hambrook lights traffic revamp 'causing confusion'

South Gloucestershire Council

The new routes through the Hambrook junction in South Gloucestershire have started and some commuters are a little confused.

South Gloucestershire Council was told by the government to improve the air quality along the stretch of road so it has brought in four new restrictions to move traffic away from the area, which started Monday.

But some businesses along the B4058 say it's adding extra time onto their daily commute.

'Clean air' consultation ends today


A public consultation on Bristol's clean air proposals - designed to help the city meet Government-set targets - ends today.

One option could see all diesel cars banned from a central area between 07:00 and 15:00.

The other under consideration - would see charges for buses, taxis, light and heavy goods vehicles.

Private cars would be exempt.

Investigation into care home fire continues

View more on twitter

Fire crews from Bristol have left the scene of a blaze at a disused care home in Brenty.

The incident took place in Knowle Lane last night - and smoke was seen billowing across the residential street.

A total of 40 firefighters used water jets and two turntable ladders to put the fire out.

An investigation into the cause of the fire will continue, later this morning.

Ethical energy company has lost millions

Image of the people who opened the energy company
Bristol Energy

Bristol Energy may not start making profit for another five years due to big losses.

The latest accounts for the council-owned ethical energy company show it lost around £10million last year, despite a big increase in customers and turnover.

Bristol mayor Marvin Rees, said the council are trying to manage a "very challenging situation".

The company was initially expected to be in profit by this year but has since needed more than £37m investment from Bristol City Council.

Bristol Energy was set up in 2016 to provide ethically sourced, low-cost power and return a profit for Bristol taxpayers.

Mother wants betting companies to do more to help addicts

Gambling machine
Getty Images

The mother of a Bristol man who died after struggling with a gambling addiction, wants betting companies to do more.

Daniel Clinkscale was a business sales manager who placed his first bet at the age of 16, at 35 he took his own life.

The industry is required to protect problem gamblers, but the legislation on what that entails is claimed to be too weak.

Jo Holloway has now taken her fight to get those betting companies to take more of a responsibility to Westminster.

'Roadworks have cost Italian restaurant £17k in lost takings'

Don Giovanni's

A Bristol restaurant owner is threatening to take the council to court over the ongoing roadworks at Temple Gate.

Andy Firetto has owned Don Giovanni's by Temple Meads for more than 35 years and says in the past year the restaurant has lost more than £17,000 because of the roadworks.

He now wants compensation from the council.

Bristol City Council says it has told the contractors to minimise disruption during the period of night time resurfacing work and has restricted the start time of works near the restaurant.

But a spokesman said it was inevitable there will be times when plans are affected by delays or weather and it apologises for the impact on local businesses.

Severe disruption: A3029 Bristol both ways

BBC News Travel

A3029 Bristol both ways severe disruption, between Old Dock Cottages and A4 Hotwell Road.

A3029 Bristol - The bridge is due to open on A3029 Junction Swing Bridge in Clifton Wood between the Old Dock Cottages junction and the A4 Hotwell Road junction.

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

Network Rail site 'power surge' for expected delays

A Network Rail spokeswoman said: "There was a power surge on the national grid this evening which means we lost power to all our signalling over a wide area, including the Newport, Gloucester, Ashford, Bristol, Eastbourne, Hastings, Three Bridges and Exeter areas.

"All trains were stopped while our back-up signalling system started up.

"While most of our signalling system has come back online and trains are running, there will be delays to journeys in these areas.

"Please check before you travel and thank you for your patience."

Huge Power Cut hits around 50% England

Updates from Western Power Distribution have confirmed that the power cuts are widespread across England and Wales.

They have said that they are experiencing a "major incident on the national grid".

Below is a map of the areas affected currently.

Western Power map
Western Power

Weather thwarts balloon plans

As expected, tomorrow's planned mass ascent of hot air balloons has had to be cancelled due to the weather.

The latest information was given by the fiesta organisers:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Bristol Balloon Fiesta: How to take a good photo

Balloon Fiesta
Aaron Sims

Still hoping to snap that iconic shot of any balloons in the air this weekend?

The fiesta is a popular event for photographers, who work hard to capture the iconic colour and activity on camera.

We spoke to some of them about their favourite shots of the event.

Read more here.

BreakingUnderwater search for teenager missing in harbour

An underwater search is under way for a teenager missing in Bristol Harbour for more than 12 hours.

Emergency crews were called to Prince Street in the city centre on at 23:15 BST on Thursday.

Police said the 17-year-old boy was seen getting into difficulties before disappearing beneath the surface.

A search, including the coastguard helicopter, was called off at 02:00 BST on Friday but has since resumed.

Emergency services search in Bristol harbourside

The BBC understands a teenager got into difficulties in the water by the city's Arnolfini centre last night and has not yet been found.

View more on twitter

Naked nightglow watched by thousands

Last night's nightglow at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta became a "naked" nightglow.

Due to high winds the balloon's envelopes were not inflated, so the burners were used on their own.

The bad weather also meant this morning's scheduled mass ascent was cancelled.

Here's your chance to re-live Thursday's nightglow, as it was broadcast live by BBC Radio Bristol.

View more on facebook

Balloon Fiesta: Nightglow 'will go ahead' this evening


Organisers of the Bristol Balloon Fiesta say this evening's nightglow will go ahead as planned.

Normally the balloon burners are lit in time to a music track, making the envelopes glow brightly.

But because of the inclement weather the balloonists will "go naked" meaning the flames will be shot straight into the air, rather than into the inflated balloon.

There will be no mass ascents on Friday because of the forecast high wind and rain.

Two new bus services to be trialled for airport passengers and staff

Bristol Airport

A six-month trial of two bus services to Bristol Airport for passengers and staff is to take place next year.

One will run from Nailsea and Backwell railway station to the airport while the other will start at Clevedon and go via Yatton railway station and Cleeve.An airport spokesman said the service would be 24/7 based around flight schedules and staff rosters.

It comes as airport bosses want to increase the number of flights operating out of Lulsgate to 12m passengers a year by the mid-2020 to meet the demand for air travel to and from the region.

North Somerset planners will assess the application later this year

The expansion is being opposed by many who say it will lead to increased air and noise pollution, "gridlock" on local roads, and lead to the "destruction of the green belt for car parking".