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That's all from the BBC News at Six, so it's goodbye from me,
Tonight, future proofing our rail network this Christmas.
This is all about getting a 21st-century railway in this region.
Great Western Railway, we are seeing the biggest upgrade in a generation,
and to do that properly, Network Rail has got to do this work.
Network Rail warns passengers to plan ahead as major London hubs
close down for essential work over the holidays.
Also tonight, the goal which could be worth more than ?500,000.
Plymouth Argyle secure a lucrative FA Cup tie against Liverpool.
We'll have ticket details for the big match.
Are squirrels really to blame for this?
We're in Cornwall where hedgerows have had to be hacked.
And the next stop in our festive journey across the region.
South West rail passengers are being warned to plan ahead
as London stations Paddington and Waterloo face
Network Rail is carrying out its biggest ever
programme of maintenance from Christmas Eve onwards.
It says it's confident it can avoid a repeat of the chaos two years ago.
So what does it mean for travellers over the Christmas period?
Well, Scott Bingham is live at Plymouth Railway Station
Yes, the annual Christmas journey. The nightmare when commuting trips
for last-minute shopping and to see relatives all combine in the last
couple of days before the break. Add to that the prospect of rail
closures, and busy road and air routes, and it is difficult to see
how bad things will get this year. And whether they will be worse than
usual. Network Rail has warned train
passengers they face a crescendo of train maintenance over
the festive season, as it undertakes its biggest
programme of works ever. 24,000 staff from its orange army,
who famously repaired the track at Dawlish,
will be laying new track and signals at 200 projects across the country,
mainly for Crossrail They will be anxious to avoid
a repeat of the Christmas chaos two years ago,
when work overran at But they say lessons have
been learned since then. Passengers are now being advised
to plan their journeys The advice is, firstly,
where possible, to travel early. So get those tickets
from tomorrow if you can. If you cannot do that,
then London Paddington is closed from Christmas Eve
to the 29th of December. Trains will travel in and out
of London from Ealing Broadway, from where there is access to
London Underground. Or, as there is no step free
access at Ealing Broadway, an easier route for people
with disabilities or with bags and luggage maybe to change
at Reading for Waterloo. But what is also closed
on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and there are reduced services
on the 24th and 27. Many passengers and their families
we spoke to today said they had I'm not sure what exactly
they've had to do, but I know they're aware of it,
and doesn't bother them, so they've obviously found
some way or another, I've rented a car and I will
drop it at Heathrow. What about alternative
modes of travel? Well, motoring organisations see
tomorrow and Saturday are likely And Exeter Airport says they expect
to handle 20,000 passengers over So what do the train
operators have to say? Well, our Transport Correspondent,
Paul Clifton has been talking to somebody
at Great Western Railways They are looking at the overall
travel picture ahead of the festive period.
Is this going to be worse than usual? If it was a panto production,
we would all be shouting back, oh, yes it will! On the road, the people
who monitor traffic jams cannot work out whether tomorrow will be the
busiest day of the entire year, or whether it will be Saturday, and one
of the Saturn Avenue companies calls it karma get in. At least we know
what is going to happen on the railways. Why close your main
station? This is a key opportunity
for Network Rail to do It effectively will allow us to run
the brand-new trains And there's big work
for Crossrail going on as well? Crossrail work is happening,
but the big impact on Plymouth are the new trains that we're
going to be delivering there. And what is actually
important is that customers, for the majority of services,
will have no problems at all. It's just if you're travelling
directly into London. Now, when you did this two years
ago, the work overran. The contractors did not tell
Network Rail, Network Rail did not tell you, you could not tell
passengers, and tens of thousands I can't say for definitely
it won't happen again, but things have certainly
got considerably better. We have not seen an overrun
like that since, and I think everyone is very vigilant to make
sure that doesn't happen. Thank you very much indeed. On the
roads, we are told that 12 million cars will be running on Saturday.
That is one third more than normal. The usual bottlenecks, the M5, the
A303. I hate to be the harbinger of Doom And Gloom, but you have been
warned. The advice again is to plan ahead
where possible, but it would seem, if you have to get away over
Christmas and New Year, there really is no escape. It makes me glad I'm
spending Christmas at home this year!
Me too, thank you, Scott. Details of Plymouth Argyle's big
match coming up, first a brief look Two men have appeared
at Exeter Crown court charged with the murder of 30-year-old
James Woodhouse. His body was was found
in a wheelie bin last month. Brett Edwards of Okehampton Road
pleaded not guilty. Thomas Killen of North Lawn Court
didn't enter a plea. Their trial will take
place next summer. The 89-year-old pensioner from Devon
who put an ad in his local paper looking for a job has just completed
two full weeks work at a restaurant. Joe Bartley from Paignton said
he was dying from boredom Last night he celebrated
as the Cantina held People on the beach at Cawsand have
been treated to a festive surprise When their Landing Craft
hit dry land yesterday, the beach was invaded by the armed
forces dressed in Christmas outfits. Plymouth Argyle can look forward
to a very Happy New Year after securing themselves
a lucrative FA Cup tie with The Pilgrims beat Newport
in a replay to make it to the third round -
a game which could be worth That's more than twice
Argyle's operating profit Natalie's been at Home Park to find
out about plans for the big match. Yes, I'm in the boardroom here
at Home Park, where it is looking very festive indeed,
and it is true to say that Christmas came early
for Plymouth Argyle last night, when they beat Newport
1-0 after extra time. As that scoreline implies,
it was a very tense game, not pretty, but with a stunning
reward right at the end of it. In a minute, we're going to find out
all the details of how fans can get to Anfield,
but first our reporter looks back Argyle started with a bang, and came
close to taking an early lead. Suddenly, Craig Taylor's
header picked out the Plymouth's star man also
had an early sighter. This time, though, his shot drifted
the wrong side of the post. Newport rarely threatened, and even
Father Christmas seemed unimpressed We all know it is not the time
of year to upset him! Into the second half,
and with a trip to Anfield within touching distance,
nerves were starting to creep in. Jordan Slew just could
not take his chance. Argyle could have won it in normal
time, another effort well saved, A Newport handball gave the visitors
the opening in extra time. They wanted it, but he
could not make it count. The visitors got a second chance,
and another penalty. This time, Carey was not
going to let anyone else take it, and he made no mistake to send
Argyle into round three. It means a great deal
for the football club, It was not pleasing on the eye,
and the pitch was cutting up, and it was about the grit and grind
of a cup competition. It is to get through, we have been
able to do that tonight, On Sunday January 8th,
the players will reap the reward for that hard work when they head
to Anfield to take on Liverpool. And the question everyone
is asking is how can fans Well, the Chief Executive
of Plymouth Argyle can tell us. Martin, you have had a series
of meetings today about it. Give us the details,
if you could, please. Yeah, I mean, we had a conversation
obviously first thing this They have allocated us just over
8100 tickets for the game. Clearly there is going to be
substantial amount of these tickets, but we're under obligation to allow
members to have first We will be doing that over
the Christmas weekend, we will be putting some
of the tickets online, and then on Boxing Day
we are planning to open at 9am so that members can come along
and get their tickets Are you expecting it
to be very busy? We will be very busy on Boxing Day
and beyond, I'm sure. The game against Wycombe,
followed by the game against Crawley,
there is going to be a lot ?500,000 this match is supposed
to be worth four Plymouth Argyle. What are you going to do
with that sort of money? It is certainly going
to be a lucrative match. I'm not sure exactly how much money
will be forthcoming, but we have got a lot of projects
that we're working on here at the club, not least
of which is trying to get promotion out of this division,
so we will be discussing as a board how we're going to allocate
the money as we go forward. It is an incredible
windfall, you nearly Last night's game was touch and go,
missed penalties and the like. Well, it was certainly very tense,
and it looked for a while as though it was going to go to a penalty
shoot out, but thankfully David Goodwillie managed to draw
the foul from the Newport defender. And Graham Carey put
the second penalty away, It was a very tense game
but I was always confident Exeter drew against Liverpool
the same time last year. Do you think Argyle can do
the same thing and bring Well, I think Derek and the team go
into every game with confidence that they are going to get a result,
and I've got no reason to think Tactically we will be spot-on,
and if we can get them back Absolutely delighted,
it's going to be one of the biggest games in the club's history,
let's face it, so you can't fail OK, Martin, thank you very much
indeed, and that's it It's pantomime time at theatres
across the South West, Lesley Joseph and Duncan James talk
about Snow White and the seven dwarfs.
And as the Spotlight Santa Express steams on to Bodmin we'll find out
how the railway brought benefits to a famous country estate.
Squirrels have been blamed for the devastation of a mile-long
stretch of trees on the A38 between Dobwalls and Bodmin.
The Boconnoc Estate, which owns the land,
says the overgrown beech hedging along the Glynn valley had to be
chopped down because branches were dropping onto the road.
The richly verdant Glynn Valley near Bodmin stimulates the senses
of any motorist travelling along the A38.
That was until, during overnight closures of the arterial route,
saw a swathe of beech trees of more than a mile long cut
Obviously, to have done them as it should have been done,
cutting out the larger ones and allowing smaller ones to grow
so that over the years they are coppiced,
The estate who owns this land says they cut the trees
because of squirrel damage and the danger of branches falling
Wildlife experts say squirrel populations are so vast
here that the amount of damage to trees with them ripping off
the bark to get to the sap below is a real problem.
Nationally, squirrel damage to forests is costing more
This, on top of larch disease, ash dieback and sudden oak death,
causes poses a real threat to our green and pleasant land.
The Forestry Commission says it supports what it
describes as a coordinated, targeted and locally
delivered control of what is increasingly seen as a pest.
Baking has become a favourite past time for many after the huge success
But in one village in Dorset volunteers have decided to combine
learning how to make bread with helping others.
The project based in Sutton Poyntz near Weymouth gives people a chance
to practise their kneading and cooking, and the end products
are handed over to charities who are supporting the homeless
Our Dorset reporter Simon Clemison has been meet
Right, ladies and gentlemen, today is our last meeting before
Christmas, and we're going make a centrepiece is mystery lunch. --
Christmas tree. It must be particularly lonely at
Christmas, being on the street and on your own. It must be great to
feel people care about you. Are you making bread?
You concentrate on meeting the dough. The smack needing the dough.
We have at least one day where we bake in our kitchens and take them
down somewhere where homeless people need food.
You have busily been baking bread on a larger scale, but is it the
simplicity of baking for someone else that draws so many people in?
Yes, these bakers love to make bread in their own homes. They want it to
be a special craft that they have learned, and they are passing it on
to someone who really needs it. This is just a white loaf, it has
been put into a Platt. Hopefully today it will go off to
one of the charities, and one hopes that they will get to eat it.
Right, marvellous! It shows people that they are being
thought of. To those who do not always appreciate and respect the
nature of some of the people that use our service.
We have got to say thank you to the bakers at some point.
Snow White, seven Devon cream tea eating dwarves
Plymouth's Theatre Royal's pantomime is well underway and believe you me,
It's a family tradition for many at Christmas so Victoria took
to the stage to speak to two of the stars who are thrilled
Well, being a Christmas baby, I went to pantomime every year
I absolutely loved it, but shows certainly have changed
if you're going to meet any dragon, this is the one to meet.
What do you think of the show so far, Dillon?
Let's go and meet some of the characters in this pantomime.
Lesley Joseph, Duncan James, thank you for doing this for us.
If you look at the set, which is absolutely glorious,
but as an audience you see wonderful dancing, you see real comedy,
you see magic happening, you get dragons going out
of the audience, and as an artist you can pull the audience and,
you can let them laugh, you can make them cry.
And it is a wonderful theatrical experience,
It must have had to change over the last so many years, though,
because it has to become more relevant for people.
There is so much on television, so much to do these days.
But ours is quite traditional, isn't it?
But what is really lovely also is some of the first time kids have
actually had an opportunity to come out of the house and actually
We are consumed their television programmes, in front
of the television, it's very difficult, especially, to drag kids
So for a lot of them, this is their first
And you know an awful lot about Devon.
I grew up and did all my schooling down here, so I'm a local boy,
I got all my school friends coming to see me during this run.
Quite nice to be here? It is nice to be here, I'm spending
Christmas where I used to live, and we are staying on the beautiful
Plymouth Hoe. It is so stunning and beautiful here. We went out last
night. We went to the Dolphin. Love all that.
It was great to be among all the locals and felt really special.
I have to ask you both, tricky question, being in Devon, jam or
cream? Absolutely, cream and then jam.
I'm the other way round. Jam first and then the cream.
The Spotlight viewers will go mad. I'm not sure now. I'm nervous unless
I said the wrong thing. Thank you so much for talking to us,
we really appreciated. Fancy starting the cream tea debate
all over again! Now for the latest in our series of
visits on the steam train. Now it's time to take your seat
on the Spotlight Express once more as we visit another of the region's
festive steam trains. We're back in Cornwall
tonight on the Bodmin The branch line was built
in the late 1800s and runs close to the Lanhydrock Estate
which is celebrating All aboard the Spotlight estate! --
express! We have been running this now for
about 30 years, so in fact, you have got generations coming along,
because I used to bring my children, and last Sunday my children brought
their children. The rail line skirts the Lanhydrock
estate, whose Victorian owners benefited when it was built. When it
was determined that Boston Parkway was going to be the station, it
effectively cut the town of -- Bodmin. And it wasn't until the
branch line was established between Ottoman Parkway and Baldwin town, --
Bodmin Parkway and Bodmin town. He was financially compensated because
he lost money, but he also had the extension to his private drive taken
up to Bodmin Parkway, which was paid for by the great Western Railway.
Inside the house, all the trappings of a well-to-do Victorian Christmas.
Christmas was huge, and there are records of the family coming down
from London or from Cambridgeshire to come down to have a proper
Cornish Christmas. Back on the steam train, and these
children have an appointment with the man in red and white.
A robot and low in the dark dinosaurs.
Presents delivered and children happy, this one is redundant branch
line now fully connected to Christmas. -- once redundant.
Well, Christmas is drawing ever closer, tonight is mine and Justin's
last Spotlight together before the big day, so I thought it
would be a good opportunity to catch up on all our seasonal fun.
Knit and Pearl the Robins are here, as is Leigh the Christmas tree.
There have been many fun festive moments over the last few weeks,
including one which nearly caught us out!
Now, you may think you know all there is to know about famous
reindeer at Christmas, the red nose, the sleigh guiding, but you have not
met Bertie from Somerset. With a tide of his ears he delivers
a thank you gift, in the shape of a box of mince pies. There they go
again! Bertie the blue nosed reindeer, he will be in Taunton on
Friday for an event celebrating the work of local charities.
Thank you! Anything else? We laughed at that, didn't we? He
has been working hard for an aged charity in Somerset, and he has been
travelling on the M5ever since the last week. And here he is! In the
studio. I didn't know... !
A bit of a surprise. You go to his back end, because I
have got a Christmas present for you. Do you ready? Are you ready?
There is your Christmas present from me, just in. Merry Christmas.
I genuinely did not know that was coming!
We have been keeping it a secret from you all day. We thought we
would cheer you up this Christmas will stop what do you think? What
wisdom -- what present have you got? A chocolate log! Lord Dear.
Bertie the blue nosed reindeer in the studio.
And thank you and much to everyone who sent business cards and
Christmas gifts -- Christmas cards. Thank you very much for remembering.
Lots of people have written from all over the UK, expat who tune in to
Spotlight from all over the country and Europe. Let's see what the
weather is great belike for the few days.
Looks like we're grey to have a mild and grey Christmas, because there is
all cloud screaming in the Atlantic. Low-pressure arriving tomorrow,
Christmas 2016 likely to be windy and mild. We do have a warning from
the Met Office about the strength of wind for tomorrow. Before we get to
Chris was, we could have costs of up to 50-60 mph. That area of low
pressure has been given a name, it has been cold Barbara. It travels up
towards Scotland and arrives through the day tomorrow. The strongest
winds will be in the northern half of the country, but once this
weather have -- front arrives, it brings heavy rain and lively gusts
of wind. That moves through, and by the time we get to Christmas Eve, a
blustery west, south West wind, relatively mild, briefly some
sunshine, generally cloudy. Chris was day itself, no chance of
anything wintry -- Christmas. We will have an unusually mild crisp as
day. -- Christmas Day. We will see some of the strongest
gusts of wind, but they will ease and become more westerly is that
weather front goes through. The cloud and showers we have seen today
will probably continue this evening and overnight tonight, but in
between the showers we have had an awful lot of fine weather, which is
nice, and some sunshine. Our cameraman enjoying lovely sunshine
at this estuary. It has been quite a pleasant day, a good day to be out
and about enjoying the fine weather. And the sunshine. It will be
different tomorrow because of the strength of wind and the rain coming
in. No chance of seeing those temperatures that could give us any
frost, although temperatures tonight will fall, a lot of the showers will
fade away, we will get clear skies later on tonight, so a touch of
frost briefly by tomorrow morning. Temperatures starting the day
between 2-4 . Briefly some sunshine in the morning, but quite quickly
the clouds streaming in and the weather front arriving. Gusts could
be 30, 40, even 60 mph in that rain band. It clears from the West later
in the day, with a top temperature of 12-13 . There is the forecast for
the Isles of Scilly. Windy with rain for daytime, then turning much drier
as that weather front goes through. The times of high water...
Big waves for surfers, and perhaps the cleanest surf will be along the
north coast, because once the wind gets going, that is likely to be
very messy indeed. The coastal waters forecast
reflecting the strength of wind. Christmas eve is going to be
blustery, rather cloudy, with a few showers, and Christmas Day, mild and
breezy. Have a good evening. Thank you stop I usually know
everything in the running order, but not this evening!
Can't believe I managed to keep it a secret Alde! That all from us today.
Have a wonderful Christmas, look forward to seeing you in the New
Year. Happy Christmas, good night.