Latest news for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Milton Keynes and Northants.
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A Japanese company buys a huge stake in one
of our biggest train operators - what'll it mean for
Calls for companies here to take on former soldiers,
as Government promises have produced few jobs.
And find out how a satellite built in Stevenage will help improve
It's been announced that a Japanese investor is to take a 40% stake
They run trains from Cambridge to London Liverpool Street,
as well as between Peterborough, Cambridge and Norwich.
Abellio says the partnership with Mitsui will lead
to "significant improvements", but not everyone agrees.
Worth ?1.4 billion, it's been just three months since the Dutch firm
Abellio began the nine-year franchise that promise to transform
rail transport across the region for passengers.
To deliver its pledge, it sold 40% of the franchise to the
Japanese company Mitsui, a fair deal for stakeholders and customers, says
All these companies who have come in for the medium and
long-term franchises bringing money with them.
Naturally, they expect a return on it and we're told it
averages about 6%, no more than that.
That isn't big-money buy any commercial standards.
So nobody is being ripped off, so to speak.
Every day, the service carries 250,000
passengers from London Liverpool Street to Cambridge, Norwich,
In a multi-million pound investment, the
rail operator says it will replace more than 1,000 carriages with more
seats and faster services by 2020 and ?60 million will be spent on
improving stations, including Cambridge.
The investment could cut average journey times by 10%.
Unions say it simply shows that a chunk of
Britain's rail network is up for grabs.
It makes a mockery of the tendering process.
Tendering processes are quite tough, if they satisfy
safety, customer satisfaction, and reliability.
And we have this company, come in out of the blue,
never been in the process and they are buying up
Japan introduced the world famous bullet train but it
is unlikely those sorts of speeds will be seen in this country
Is it worrying that a private company that wasn't involved
in the tendering process has such a huge stake in Abellio?
Here's our Busines Correspondent, Richard Bond.
Bear in mind, the Government was unaware of his Japanese interest
But bear in mind, Abellio is still in charge.
It is still in charge of the operations of the company.
All terms and conditions of this new franchise will have to be met,
otherwise the operators will be in hot water.
Mitsui is being vetted by the Department for Transport,
and the Government actually put out a statement tonight saying that it
would only approve this partial sale once both parties,
in other words Abellio and Mitsui, have satisfied us that passengers
So there you are, basically, checks are being made to make sure
that it is a fit and proper partner for Abellio.
Next - are businesses doing enough to support servicemen and women
The BBC has discovered that just 58 companies in our region have signed
up to the Armed Forces Covenant - a Government promise to look
In our region, Hertfordshire has the most companies with 32,
but there are only six in Milton Keynes and
Para-ice hockey in Peterborough with Stuart, who lost a leg
Now he's trying to help others make the transition from
It's not easy, even for an able-bodied person.
You lose a whole network of support, once you leave the forces.
And you're suddenly left with nothing.
And that's exactly what happened to Daniel Johnson Morris,
who felt let down when he left the Army three years ago,
with mental health problems, no job, and no home.
I went into one of the hospitals in Peterborough.
I was literally in one room, on my own, two single
And I was just keeping myself to myself.
The only time I went out was to go and see my two boys.
Here in Peterborough, they're trying to get more companies
to take on ex-service people, and they can get support
from the government, if they sign the Armed Forces Covenant.
But, for now, out of 3,000 companies in the city,
At this drop-in session, they're trying to link
But with so few signing the covenant, it's hard.
I'm disappointed on the fact that a lot of companies
They are looking at an array of different backgrounds,
different trades, different skills that all three services
The service person that's leaving the forces wants another career.
They could have that person for many years to come,
They just need to give them the chance.
But one of the companies which have signed up is Anglian Water,
who found how employing ex-servicemen and women has
In the last three months alone, we've had nine employees
that we've hired with service backgrounds.
And we find that they're just amazing people.
They've got brilliant skillsets that are really transferable
They have health and safety, they have supply chain,
and they have engineering and practical requirements
So, that's absolutely brilliant for us, too.
It's all about getting them more integrated into civilian life.
Because, as any ex-forces person will tell you,
forces life is completely different to civilian life.
It's hoped that by giving people a chance, it might mean the nation
lives up to its promise of looking after those who served
A court's heard how the man accused of murdering the author Helen Bailey
told police she had spoken of "wanting space".
Ian Stewart made the comment during a recorded 999 call
to report her missing, four days after she disappeared.
Ms Bailey was found dead in a cesspit under the garage
of her home in Royston three months later.
Cambridgeshire Police are investigating a
They say at least three people are in hospital with serious but not
life-threatening injuries and four people have been arrested.
It happened in the Wentworth Street area of Peterborough
Now, just before we bring you the weather,
a look at how our region is helping to improve the accuracy
A satellite made in Stevenage will be the first to measure
In Greek mythology, Aeolus was the keeper of the winds.
Now, it's the world's first ever satellite to study the Earth's wind
It's going to collect more data in one week than we have already.
It's been built in a clean room at Airbus to keep its lasers
It shines it through the atmosphere and a telescope picks up
the reflections of that signal from the dust particles
From this, we can see the wind speed throughout the whole
At the minute, we don't measure the wind in this way,
we just use weather balloons that pop up in individual
points, and radios that are scattered around the world.
There are huge parts of the planet where we actually don't know
This will make it much more accurate.
It means that there will be actual data rather than estimated data
and that should feed into more accurate weather forecasts.
Aeolus works by firing a laser into the atmosphere
It's reflected back by molecules and clouds,
but at a subtly different frequency in what is called
It is the difference between these two signals that
This satellite, which weighs about the same as a Mini,
is going to be travelling around the Earth at
In its three-year life span it will orbit the Earth over 17,500 times.
There is all sorts of fundamental building blocks to making a weather
forecast, but none really more important than
People obviously appreciate the wind at the surface,
But the wind is a really complicated thing.
It varies very dramatically as you go up through the atmosphere.
What we can do with the satellite is just get a much broader image
and you need to know what the winds are doing right now
to be able to predict the weather in the future.
The data that Aeolus sends back could lead to a breakthrough
in our understanding of the Earth's climate.
Fascinating stuff - so lets get our latest
But from me and the team here, goodnight.
Well, we've already got temperatures in some spots below freezing.
As the night goes on, we'll see a lot of the clear sky
filling in with cloud from the north.
And that could produce a little bit of light rain and drizzle.
But for most of us it will be a dry night.
As the cloud increases, that will probably bring
the temperatures back up in many sports above freezing.
So some of us will wake up to a frost tomorrow morning,
And then, tomorrow, we have high pressure in charge again.
This weather front to the north, that's likely to push a bit more
Generally more cloud around tomorrow compared to today.
I hope it will thin and break in time to at least allow
Temperatures at best only up to about four Celsius, but we do
But it's going to stay on the chilly side, and stay largely dry
Although we may again just to see a little bit of drizzle out
In a moment, Nick will have the national forecast,
Thursday and Friday, high pressure stays in charge,
so it stays fine and dry, but largely cloudy.
On both days, we should see temperatures perhaps closer
to average - about six Celsius at the best.
from time to time. Staying settled still. Nick has the national
forecast this evening. Hello. If you are watching the
football earlier it turned out to be an evening for football fans in
Lincolnshire. This is how it looked at the start of the day. No idea
whether this weather watcher is a football fan, it's a fan of weather
that matters here. All sorts of weather, from 13 in Aberdeenshire to
two, despite the sunshine in Kent. I wonder if this six in the cloud
across the Midlands into northern England and parts of Wales felt
colder, particularly in these misty and foggy conditions in this weather
watcher view. Some drizzly rain around at times still from the
thicker cloud into parts of England and Wales overnight, hill fog too.
Cloud for Scotland and