The latest news, sport and weather for the North West of England.
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Commuters are being urged to plan ahead for their journey to work
tomorrow as a rail strike is expected to cause
delays on roads and public transport around the region.
The RMT union is in dispute with Northern Rail and Merseyrail
over plans to introduce more driver-only-operated trains.
Motorists have been warned the industrial action could lead
to disruption as more people take to the roads.
As rail workers take part in a 24-hour walkout tomorrow,
the impact is expected to be felt far beyond the region's railways.
Transport for Greater Manchester is among those warning that
Roads and motorways are expected to be busier than normal,
with more pressure on tram and bus services around the region too.
The strike by members of the RMT union centres
It wants Northern Rail and Merseyrail to give more
assurances that they won't transfer the task of opening and closing
train doors to drivers, and disputes the train operators'
promise that it would not put safety at risk.
Northern want to have 50% of services by 2020 operating
what they call driver-controlled operation - that's the operation
of a train without a guard - and similar on Merseyrail,
with the introduction of new services and, again,
they want to see services operated without a safety-critical guard
on board, and that's unacceptable to us.
Northern Rail - the biggest train operator in the region -
says only 40% of services are likely to operate tomorrow.
It says it will provide around 300 rail replacement bus services
And Northern Rail tickets will also be accepted
What we've had to do is focus our timetable about moving
people where we have conductors available, or managers
who are conducted trained, available to operate.
We're looking at our core flows, which are between cities
We're not able to service every area.
We have put bus replacements on to supplement that
and I would encourage people to visit the website.
Merseyrail hopes to run trains every half hour
The train service that we plan to operate is very much dependent
on resources being available on the day.
We would urge our customers to check our website -
Merseyrail.org - and also follow us live on Twitter @Merseyrail,
where further details will be available, should there be any
With many rail passengers expected to use the roads instead,
everyone is being urged to leave extra time for their journeys.
Naomi Cornwell, BBC North West Tonight.
An airline which has been operating flights between Blackpool
and the Isle of Man has gone into liquidation.
Citywing said the decision was taken after a company operating
flights on its behalf, Van Air, lost permission to fly
after an incident last month at Ronaldsway Airport.
All of Citywing's flights have now been cancelled.
More than ?275,000 has been raised for the children of a couple
who died of cancer within days of each other in Wirral.
This photo of Mike and Julie Bennet holding hands during their last
moments together was seen by millions of people online,
after it was shared by their family following their deaths last month.
The money raised means their three children can now continue
Merseyside fire crews remain at the scene of a huge blaze
at a scrap metal recycling plant on the waterfront in Sefton.
As many as 40 firefighters have been trying to put out the flames today
at Alexandra Dock in Bootle, after the fire broke out
Local residents are still being advised to keep
Investigators are expected to be on site next week
A man's been arrested on suspicion of affray after a 48-hour armed
Officers had surrounded a house on Kingsdown Close in Weston
on Thursday lunchtime after a man with a crossbow refused to leave.
A 56-year-old is being questioned by detectives.
In the Premier League's only game today, Burnley opened the score
against Liverpool at Anfield, with this goal from Ashley Barnes.
But the Reds fought back to finish 2-1 up.
In Super League, Widnes failed to score at home against the early
season league leaders, Castleford this afternoon,
Meanwhile, a last-gasp conversion foiled a Salford fightback
and earned Wakefield back-to-back Super League wins at Belle Vue.
Thousands of people lined the streets for the annual
St Patrick's Day parade in Manchester City
The hour-long parade finished at Albert Square,
where there's also been live music and Irish markets as part
Now here's Alex Hamilton with the weather..
Well, we've had a rather mixed bag across the North West
On one hand, beautiful blue skies and bright sunshine.
On the other hand, rather cloudy, drizzly picture at times.
If we have a look at the charts, the front that were responsible
If we have a look at the charts, the fronts that were responsible
for that are moving out of the way and high pressure is building
for tomorrow and the first part of the new working week.
So we are expecting slightly more settled conditions.
As we go through the course of tonight, still few showers
Clear spells for a time overnight as well.
We should mostly stay frost-free, though.
And as we go towards tomorrow morning, that cloud starts
A few showers first thing, but then, over the course of the day,
as the cloud starts to thin and break, some brighter spells
as well and a little bit of sunshine here and there.
Highs of around 12 Celsius, so feeling very pleasant
where we do see some of that springtime sunshine.
Quite settled for the start of the week,
Hello, the weather was hit-and-miss today across the UK, bit of
sunshine, a few spots of rain, the skies are clearing now, particularly
in western area, and unlike the last few nights, this coming night, it is
going to turn chilly, there is a touch of frost on the way, these are
clouds from today. Some of it rain bearing, this gap in the weather,
that is going to be over the UK, during the course of the night so
hence the temperatures will dip away. So by the early hours of
Monday morning it is clear, most of England