02/04/2014 Midlands Today


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Good evening. Health chiefs are tonight issuing advice to p`tients


with heart or lung problems as increased levels of air pollution


hang over the West Midlands. Weather forecasters say levels are dxpected


to soar as local and Europe`n emissions mix with dust frol the


Sahara. Pollution experts s`y today's developments are a wake`up


call for the Government. Liz Copper reports. At this weather st`tion in


Coventry, climatic conditions are measured daily. Methodicallx and


meticulously, meteorological data is collected to help forecasters. We


are monitoring the weather on an hourly basis. We do this for The Met


office and obviously for anx agencies that might be interested,


like environmental agencies, in monitoring pollution. This tnusual


set of conditions is being closely checked as the region braces itself


for high levels of air pollttion over the next few days. The scare at


the moment, if there is a scare is about particulate matter. Vdry tiny


specks of dust. They get into people's lungs and threaten asthma,


and people with bronchial problems, which is why, of course, people are


being told not to do any outside strenuous activities. Of cotrse


historically, the Midlands' industrial heritage meant ahr


pollution levels were much higher than they are now. Although weather


experts are urging caution, we are also being encouraged to kedp


today's forecast in context and not to panic unduly. Today is something


of a wake`up call for us because, actually, we have an underlxing air


pollution problem in this country. It's just that most of the time it


doesn't trigger the alarms `nd it's not quite as easy to sense with our


eyes and noses as it is tod`y. At this monitoring station in


Birmingham, the city's air`pollution levels are checked. Environlental


groups are concerned emissions could worsen the effects of smog `nd


contribute towards poor air quality. It is a massive problem in the UK


and in Birmingham. Air pollttion contributes towards 29,000 premature


deaths in the UK alone each year and probably to about 500`530 premature


deaths in Birmingham alone. Near to Birmingham Airport, the gloomy


conditions meant planes could barely be seen this afternoon. But the


outlook is set to improve. Meteorologists have been monitoring


the situation on an hourly basis. The good news is high pollution


levels are expected to ebb `way by the weekend.


A worker at a care home in Tividale in the Black Country has bedn


arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting an 85`year`old m`n. The


25`year`old man worked at W`rrens Hall Nursing Centre, which hs


privately run by BUPA and specialises in looking after people


with Parkinson's disease. Hd's been released on bail as police carry out


further inquiries. A blind man who fought off luggers


when they held him at knife`point says he's now too scared to leave


his home. Andy Muxlow from Lalvern in Worcestershire was attacked on


Friday night. It's thought the muggers watched him take money from


a cash point in Barnards Grden before threatening him with a knife.


As I was leaving the scene, I heard them shout, well, we know where you


live. That has really frightened me. I'm scared to go out on my own now.


It has knocked my confidencd. The West Bromwich Albion striker


Saido Berahino says he's now not considering taking legal action


against team`mate James Morrison, after the England under`21 player


was punched during a dressing room row. In a statement released on the


club's website the player s`id he was, "Only focussing on Sattrday's


game at Norwich". Final testing's been taking place on


the first five vehicles in ` new fleet of hi`tech trams for the


Midland Metro, due to go into full service this summer. The new


vehicles, which have been btilt in Spain, are costing 40 million pounds


` they'll be part of the line extension into Birmingham Chty


centre. Here's our transport correspondent, Peter Plisner.


Nice control on the gradient. Remember we've got a bit of an


incline here. Driver training on board one of the new trams. They're


very different from the existing vehicles and this morning they were


turning heads at the station. They look more comfortable, more than the


old ones. They look like thd Virgin Trains. Very nice, very moddrn.


These new trams do seem to get a much smoother ride than the old


ones. They are also much more spacious, around a third bigger


able to take around 50 more passengers. Which hopefully means in


the future, less overcrowding on the Midland Metro. In all, 20 trams are


being built in in Spain. Already five have been delivered. E`ch one


of these vehicles is costing ?2 million pounds. It is a real wow


factor, I think. They look special, they look much more comfort`ble than


the previous trams. They ard state of the art. They are 21st`cdntury


trams. And appearently they're also getting wows from the drivers. They


handle well around corners when we have been working around thd depot.


They are very nice smooth trams That is a bit like a car, isn't it?


There are very nice. I think it is the BMW of the car world. The Metro


depot in the Black Country hs being expanded to house the new fleet and


it's there that they're being thoroughly tested. The tram


manufacturer have a team of engineers here on site and they have


been commissioning tests. N`tional Express, the operator of thd trams,


are also carrying out systel integration tests. The first of the


new trams enters service thhs summer but passengers can get closd up look


around one of them at Snow Hill station in Birmingham this Saturday.


A father and son team from Shropshire are hoping their model


Red Arrows planes will win them a world title this summer. Stdve


Bishop and his son Matthew, from Telford, have spent more th`n


?20,000 building the two quarter`scale aircraft. Thex'll be


flying them at the World Formation Cup in Germany hoping to improve on


last year's second place. Flying one aircraft is hard enough


but flying two, it's probably one of the most hardest things you can do.


Cos you're not in the model and you can't see the third dimension. So


you have to have a lot of trust between me and my son when we fly


together. That's all from the late te`m. We'll


be back at breakfast from shx tomorrow morning. The weathdr's next


with Rebecca. Bye for now. with


Pollution levels were continued to tomorrow. Tomorrow it does not look


like a great day. We have some showers in the afternoon and not


much brightness either. Tonhght is largely dry. There will still be


some showers, sometimes heavy. We could have some mist and fog


forming. It is really mild with temperatures at ten or 11 Cdlsius.


Tomorrow will start misty. Not much brightness through the day `nd then


some showers from the South in the afternoon. Some could be he`vy and


thundery. Here is the outlook for the next


be dry. The air pollution has been hitting the headlines today. For


more information on that, here is my colleague.


Good evening. Very hazy skies in London today and many other towns


and cities across the UK. On Thursday there is the chance of some


pretty high pollution in the south-east and East Anglia but by


the time we get towards the end of the week, we will see clearer


Atlantique air coming in and we should get rid of the Saharan dust


which has been making services grubby in the last few days. You can


see the pattern across the Atlantic. We also have a weather


front. The beginning of that change is affecting many western areas of


the UK. This particular cloud across the North Sea, you can see there is


a general drift here towards Scotland and the North Sea


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