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This is East Midlands Today with Dominic Heale and me, Anne Davies.
Our top story tonight: The green light at last for the A453.
The government has announced the second busiest stretch of motorway
in UK is to be improved. And mother's Christmas message to
drink-drivers. If it makes one person stop and
think and say I will get a taxi, then it is worth it, David will not
have died in vain. The innovative procedure developed
in America designed to help and eight year-old from Derbyshire walk
unaided. The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall pull a pint to help
Good evening. Welcome to Tuesday's programme.
First tonight, the Government has at last given the go-ahead for
improving one of the busiest and most congested roads in the country.
Widening the A453, which links Nottingham and the M1, has been the
top transport priority for the East Midlands for more than a decade.
Business and council leaders say dualling the road will generate
�540 million for the region and end congestion misery for motorists.
Let's join our reporter Simon Ward on a bridge over the A453. You can
see the light of commuters going home. If you have been stuck on
this road you will know the frustration of drivers and
companies held up in traffic. 32,000 cars a day use it. People
have been talking about making improvements since the early 1980s,
but finally today the government confirmed it will be widened.
Just a single carriageway in each direction, but this is the vital
linking road between the M1 and Nottingham. It took the Chancellor
just seven seconds to commit the government to Midlands road
improvements costing hundreds of millions of pounds. In the Midlands
the A453, the Kettering bypass, they will all be improved.
Donington services motorists welcomed the news.
If they are putting some money into the infrastructure to improve the
rate it will be a good thing. good dirtier. You always get stuck
on the brow of the hill getting stuck down coming back to the
roundabout. It will make things much easier, no more traffic jams,
touch wood. It has always got problems. Good move. At last.
Nottinghamshire councillors are in a buoyant mood and will still offer
�20 million to a project that could cost more than �160 million in
total. This is a major piece of road for transport in this area.
Both all goods and services, people go -- going to the airport, goods
coming from the airport, wonderful news for everybody.
The city of Nottingham also expect to benefit.
A obviously it dovetails into the tram extension up to Clifton. We
have seen both schemes as integral to the transport no work for the
staff of the city. It is the end of the road for campaigning. The next
step is to actually construct the dual carriageway. The road is a
major route in and out of Nottingham. It is essential for
transporting goods. Time is waiting snarled up in traffic and that its
deliveries. Many truck drivers say they take long did tours to avoid
the road. It is the bane of our lives. We are
very frustrated at the fact it hadn't been widened. Our vehicles
get held up on a daily basis, and it is really getting to the stage
where we are at having to tell drivers to get in other directions
to get to their destiny since such as the M one because it is so
frustrating -- their destination such as the M1. There is another
transport company with 13 vehicles, and their drivers will do anything
to avoid going on it. If it is getting late in the morning I would
use an alternative route. In order to miss it out completely. You get
held up and lose so much driving time. How do you feel about the
fact it should now be jailed? Elated. Long awaited. It is
something that will go ahead. So -- how long it takes, I do not know,
but it has got to beat a good thing for everybody. The Road haulage
Association here told me it is welcoming the expenditure on the
road, the prospect of more free- flowing traffic on the A453, and as
for the truckers, any improvement Joining us now is a member of the
Area Chamber of Commerce. Presumably money as they lost by
not having a better road? This has cost us a lot of money over a long
time. We have lost opportunities for investment, particularly in
Nottingham city because the approach has been simple. Why has
it taken so long for the government to listen? If we had the answer to
that we could answer that very well. It has taken a long time to get
here. It is a very important decision taken today. Is the devil
in the detail? Do you have further worries? Until we actually see a
precise timescale and how it will be funded, there is always still an
element of doubt. We think it is a very important decision taken today.
We have to see it builds in. used to buy as the government
approved it? Very police. What will it mean for the region? Excellent
news. The most important piece of infrastructure that needs to be
built in the area, and will improve transport links here enormously.
We still don't know when it will be built. The county council had work
could start next year. Still to come, a busy evening of
football. Jeremy's at the City ground to tell us more.
Forest, Derby and Leicester all at home. There will be a minutes
applause here before the game against Gary Speed's old club,
Leeds United, just days after his Next, a disabled boy has just
undergone an operation which could mean he'll be able to walk unaided
for the very first time. Joel Rogers had the life-changing
surgery in Bristol just a few hours ago. In the past, children have had
to travel to America for the procedure and families have had to
fund it themselves. But Joel's surgery is being paid for by NHS
Derbyshire. From Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, our health
correspondent Rob Sissons reports. Getting the television to work next
to his hospital bed seemed his biggest worry. If he was anxious
about the major Neurosurgery, he wasn't going to show it.
I am feeling fine. I am not feeling nervous. Because of his terrible
palsy, he has relied on splints as his Walker to get around. He will
be far from his classmates for the next few weeks, undergoing
physiotherapy. But he is close to their hearts. The community near
Matlock has raised money for extra physio to top up what the NHS will
pay for. In the last few years he has really become very aware of the
different and what he cannot do, and begins he cannot play. And
hopefully this will mean he is a lot more involved like he wants to
be. His operation takes hours. After removing a section of bone in
the spine, the neurosurgeon exposes spinal cord nerves. These are
divided and tested electronically. The responses from muscles reveal
which are causing spasticity, stiffness and pain in his legs.
Part of the nerve are then cut. They call it selective dorsal rise
lottery. It was developed in a mess Africa. He is the 10th patient in
the UK to undergo this -- it was developed in America. They become
more independent, improve their balance, and some of them, and
children like Joel will be able to walk independently in the future.
After the operation he will be able to finally wear something here has
always dreamed of, trainers. What sort you want?
Cool ones. Infra-red cameras in the special lab will be following his
footsteps over the next two years for Dub year-old has travelled many
miles from Derbyshire for this treatment but in many ways his
journey is only just beginning. Let's go live to rub now in Bristol.
Rob, what the latest on how Joel's operation has gone?
It has gone really well. Took about four hours. Less than expected. He
is in recovery, doing really well. He will spend a couple of days in
the high dependency unit, then a lot of work learning to walk
unaided, which will of talk -- of course take months. Fantastic news
it has gone well. So when will Joel be back in Derbyshire?
About three weeks. I would imagine with those new trainers as well.
I do hope so. I would imagine we Police have made an arrest after a
police officer was badly hurt in a hit and run incident. Mansfield
officer Diederick Coetzee remains critically ill after being knocked
off his bicycle while off duty. Today a 32-year-old man was
arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving, failure to stop at the
scene of a collision, and failure to report a crime. Families in
Leicestershire are clearing up after a burst water main flooded
five homes. The leak began around midnight on Dorset Avenue in South
Wigston. Severn Trent engineers have now stemmed the leak and say
they'll do what they can to help those whose homes have been damaged.
A mother whose son was killed by a drink driver is calling for
motorists in Leicestershire to say no to alcohol this Christmas. David
Johnson was on his motorbike when he was hit by a man driving over
the limit. It's a timely campaign as figures from Nottinghamshire
police suggest drink drivers are consuming more alcohol than ever.
Victoria Hicks reports. He was my whole world. Such a level
of life, and cheeky with it sometimes. He was a gentleman. You
have these plans and dreams for your children, and then suddenly,
they are gone. David was 33 when he was killed by a drink-driver in
Leicestershire. The impact of the crash broke every bone in his body.
He died in the arms of a stranger. As he overtook there was nowhere
for him to go so he went off straight into David and his fiancee
landed on a brick wall and had a fractured pelvis and her leg pinned.
David was flung into a drive, and he died of a ruptured aorta. It is
like somebody has just punched me in the chest and ripped my heart
out and just thrown it away. It is so painful. 125 drivers were
arrested for drink-driving in Leicestershire last Christmas. This
year's message, don't drink at all. The reason being, if you drink and
drive you are likely to get caught, you will be breathalysed, if you
get breathalysed and it proves positive you will get a ban. That
could possibly lead to the loss of a good job or even prison. The man
who killed David Johnson was sentenced to three and a half years
in prison. He served 18 months. Dawn Bycraft went to visit him.
After I had seen him and we got the whole picture came together, I came
out with the conclusion that as biased -- as bad as it is for me
and the husband, I still feel sorry for him, because he has got to live
with the fact that for a couple of extra pints he has taken a life. If
by what I have said today just makes one person stop and think and
say I will get a taxi, and save one person from going through the pain
I am going through, then it is worth it, David will not have died
in vain. More than 900 schools in the East
Midlands are expected to close tomorrow as public sector workers
go on strike. They're taking action over proposed pension changes. But
as Kylie Pentelow explains, it's not just schools that will be
affected. For parents, school closures will
mean the biggest disruption tomorrow. Here are the latest
figures: In Nottinghamshire, more than 380 schools are closing. The
number in Leicestershire and Rutland is 330 and in Derbyshire
there are expected to be at least 210 closures. But one education
union in Derby is against the strikes.
We don't believe we should involve children in industrial disputes. It
is as simple as that. The children come first. They are not our
employers, yet they and their parents are the ones who suffer,
when teachers take strike action and we don't believe that is right.
Hospitals too are preparing for their staff to take action. Bosses
in Nottingham say they've already let patients know if they'll be
inconvenienced and only ten operations have been postponed. And
they say tomorrow, the most urgent medical cases will be protected
from the impact of the strikes. We haven't had industrial action in
the health service since the ambulance strike in 1989, so it is
something we are not used to as employers. In fairness, our staff
are not used to doing it. I think for most of them it is a big step
they are planning to take. We are concerned to make sure that the
days are not repeated into next year, and we do believe people are
doing their very best to maintain emergency services.
So what do you think about the strike action? Well we've been out
in the East Midlands today and there certainly isn't united
opinion. I don't normally agree with strikes
because you get nothing out of it, you have lost money. But I agree
with this because they have paid into it, they are entitled to get
it out. The country is in a mess and the public sector are no
different from the private sector who are suffering badly. So, we are
all in this together. I have a lot of sympathy for them. They have
been left in a position where they don't have any choice.
Inconvenience for me with my three- year-old, day of school and
everything. But I can understand where they're coming from.
Everybody has got a right to do what they are doing. If it was in
the private sector, there would be exactly the same situation that a
up you will not get any more money and you will the people in the
lurch. The private sector, didn't get the gold-plated things they get,
it is ridiculous. Well whatever your opinion, the strikes are
taking place tomorrow. And if you want to know the latest on school
closures and how it could affect you, go to your Local BBC radio
station and online. Nearly half a billion people have
been infected with it and a child dies from it every 45 seconds. We
are talking about malaria. But now a major breakthrough in how the
parasite survives in the bloodstream has been discovered.
One of the teams which made the discovery is based at Leicester
University, so that's where our reporter Jonathan Cecil went today.
If they bite you it can hurt, but the female mosquito can also
transferred their sleep -- deadly malaria parasite. -- can also
transfer. A child dies every 45 seconds from the disease. Now,
after 10 years of research, there has been a breakthrough. It
happened in part right here in the East Midlands. The team has
discovered how the parasite survives in the bloodstream of its
victims. We have identified a group of more than 30 proteins which are
essential in the parasite. That means if we inhibit or stop the
action of any one of those 30, you will stop the parasite from growing,
and you will kill the parasite. next stage is to design and build a
drug that can stop one of these proteins, but that will not be easy.
Yearly half a billion people in the world have malaria at the moment.
Many are children. Many of those are pregnant women. You drug has to
be incredibly safe. That is why it takes so long to develop these
drugs, because it is all about developing a safe drug that is also
going to work. But it could take up to another 10 years before a
complete cure against this deadly Good work going on there in at
Leicester. Still to come on the programme: The
weather switches into early winter mode.
As we near the beginning of December, it is a rather topsy-
turvy weather story. One moment, wet and windy, the next, still
windy but the cloud clears. Time to Was that a star or the police
helicopter? Anna was the star. We have got the sport with another
star here. More than 60,000 football fans across Derby,
Leicester and Nottingham will pay their tribute to Gary Speed tonight.
The 42-year-old manager of Wales died at the weekend. We've a full
programme of matches tonight. The picture behind me from Leeds
explains why we will start with the City Ground. It is where the
occasion will be the most poignant. The Official tribute will be a
minute's applause before kick-off, but the Leeds United fans also plan
to sing Gary Speed's name for 11 minutes starting in the 11th minute,
in memory of their great number 11. It will be a strange feeling where
fans will unite. Give a lot of support to an individual who has
had such a successful career. was a member of the Leeds team that
won the title in 1992. He joined the club as a teenager on the same
day as the man managing Leeds tonight. Two innocent 14 euros who
came on the morning of the game, signed the forms with Mr Saunders,
the chief scout, and Eddie was the manager. That was the first time we
came across each other for top 20 years down the line, it seems like
yesterday we were starting off together. Obviously, very difficult
to understand and work out why this has happened. At times like this
the football world comes together and the Nottingham Forest fans were
joined in the applause. It is a huge loss. He was one of the first
people to text me when I got the Nottingham Forest a job. I had
spoken to him a few times. He is an absolute gentleman, that has been
mentioned quite a few times. Aside from that, in football terms,
Leeds are 5th, Forest are 20th. Four wins and a Steve Cotterill but
that doesn't seem so important on what is bound to be an emotional
night -- under Steve Cotterill. At Leicester's King Power Stadium
there'll be a minutes applause before the game for Gary Speed.
It'll be poignant for one City player in particular. Mark Shardlow
is at tonight's game. We heard from him briefly yesterday but when the
teams come out of the tunnel and stand for the minute applause it
will mean more to one young man and many others, that is Andy King. He
played against Gary Speed as a teenager down here for Leicester,
but more significantly when Gary Speed was appointed manager of
Wales he gave Andy King his international debut. Myself
personally, I will be looking for a performance to show him how
thankful I am for what he has done for my career. The one thing I have
said, he wouldn't want anybody to miss any football because of what
has happened. He loved football, he was a great football man. The best
way to do it is go out and play and show him, and really pay your
respect for him by playing football. As for tonight's game Nigel
Pearson's first two matches in charge have resulted in a win and a
draw. Another winner will make sure Leicester are firmly knocking on
Our third side in action is Derby County where memories of Speed are
also strong. At Pride Park before the visit of Brighton was Ross
Fletcher. Everything ready for Derby County
against Brighton but like at Leicester and Nottingham Forest a
minute applause to remember Gary Speed. Striker played under him at
Sheffield United and things were not going so well but here is the
measure of Gary Speed, he offered to pay bonuses out of his own
pocket when Jamie helped Sheffield United, such a mark of the man.
always had the time to talk to you. If you needed -- if you needed
advice he would help you. He would do anything for you. It is
obviously a sad day for football, I would love to score for him. It is
just one of them things. An emotional night for everybody
involved. Derby County need a result. Four straight defeats has
seen him go from second in the table to 15th in just a couple of
months. Let's hope that changes tonight against Brighton.
There'll be commentary on all the games on your BBC Local Radio
station and you'll get first chance to see the highlights in our late
bulletin tonight. And we'll have more here tomorrow night.
A lot happening on the Late News tonight.
It's generally agreed that every rural village needs a thriving shop
and a good pub. So bring the two together and you've got the perfect
combination. That's what a scheme called Pub is The Hub is all about
and it comes with royal approval. It was the idea of The Prince of
Wales, and with his wife The Duchess of Cornwall, he's been to
visit a Lincolnshire success story, a pub that's really doing well
despite the tough climate. Quentin Rayner's report contains flash
photography. The Cholmeley Arms welcomed Their
Royal visitors with open arms. Their support for rural pubs is
well known. This one and its adjoining farm shop near Grantham
are proof the pub is -- the scheme does work. It is close to the
Prince's heart. He came up with the not-for-profit idea 10 years ago as
part of his Rural Action programme. The pub had closed before they to
go over three years ago. But by tapping into the schemes advice on
a project funding the pub was refurbished, and a farm shop opened
in a derelict barn. Three couples in the last two months have sent --
said to us they are looking to diversify to get the trade-in. The
scheme has then people to see how things work here, and they were so
impressed getting that guidance. Any help for pubs is welcomed by
the trade at a time when the beer sales are at their lowest since the
Great Depression did up 14 pubs each week are closing in the UK.
Best is partly due to the rising tax. 27,000 jobs could be saved if
further proposed tax rises were scrapped. We have probably done 30
or 40 schemes. Some have been immensely successful, everything
from post offices to school meals, two obituaries and things like this.
Anything that adds to the village - They tasted a drop of Newton strop,
although the prince bought the press would missing out on the
local brew. -- new to's Drop. I think a pub selling chocolate
cake could be a marriage made in heaven. We saw a twinkling little
star earlier, he has another one. Kylie thinks that is Jupiter.
We have had a rather wet and windy afternoon. The rain has now cleared
away. It will be staying windy This photo was taken a couple of
weeks ago in the rain. Please send them into us. Let's have a look at
the pressure track. You can see a friend that has cleared up across
the East. -- pressure chart. -- you can see that front. We have got
colder air coming in. The isobars are staying a fairly tight,
continuing to be windy. The rain has pushed away a cross towards
Lincolnshire. Behind it, mostly dry, you may just note the odd passing
shower. Mostly clear skies. Temperatures will fall to four
degrees. Because his days when the overnight it should be frost-free.
You might just get attached in rural parts. -- a touch. Showers
may develop across Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire, but
beautiful sunshine as we go into the afternoon. Temperatures
reaching a maximum of 10 degrees, but staying fairly breezy so it
will feel quite cold. More rain to come, Wednesday evening, tried to
start, this area of rain will move in. Then another band of rain will
push its way in from the West. But once that clears, Thursday will be
dry. We will see broken cloud, sunny spells. The wind will
gradually ease on Thursday. Much more settled day to come. Friday,
one of those perfect winter's days. Widespread frost in the morning.
Lot of sunshine in the afternoon. To make the most of it. There will
be still some unsettled weather at the weekend.