27/03/2017 Spotlight


27/03/2017

The latest news, sport, weather and features from the South West of England.


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LineFromTo

The train journey from Exeter to London's Waterloo

:00:09.:00:12.

Hong Kong company MTR and First Group have won

:00:13.:00:17.

the franchise for South West trains and take over in August.

:00:18.:00:21.

They're set to invest ?1.2 billion across the network.

:00:22.:00:24.

The Waterloo line is picturesque but slow.

:00:25.:00:31.

The news of this investment, with new and more frequent

:00:32.:00:34.

trains cutting journey times from the south-west to London

:00:35.:00:37.

by up to 15 minutes, has been welcomed by passengers.

:00:38.:00:41.

It would mean that we could get up there quicker to go to the theatre,

:00:42.:00:45.

which is what we like to do, go there with the children at

:00:46.:00:48.

It would be excellent to give more options for people to travel

:00:49.:00:52.

It's a long journey and there's a lot of stops there,

:00:53.:00:57.

which leaves us all out in the sticks a little bit

:00:58.:01:00.

and I believe, obviously, a direct train between Exeter

:01:01.:01:02.

and London that was a lot faster would be useful for people.

:01:03.:01:06.

Importantly, the Waterloo line is less vulnerable to flooding.

:01:07.:01:10.

It doesn't travel through the Cowley Bridge junction,

:01:11.:01:13.

north of Exeter, or the Somerset Levels, both

:01:14.:01:16.

But there is no news of investment at Dawlish where the line has

:01:17.:01:22.

repeatedly been cut by storms or further in to Devon and Cornwall.

:01:23.:01:27.

We need to have a second reliable, resilient rail network

:01:28.:01:31.

here in the south-west and whilst this is definitely a positive move,

:01:32.:01:36.

it is not something we should be taking focus of.

:01:37.:01:39.

We need to continue with the efforts of the south-west campaign,

:01:40.:01:42.

the peninsular task force and keep very much the government's feet

:01:43.:01:45.

The new franchise for the Waterloo line has been won by First Group.

:01:46.:01:52.

They also run trains on the Paddington line,

:01:53.:01:54.

leading some to raise concerns about a lack of competition.

:01:55.:01:58.

The new service will begin operating from here to Waterloo in August.

:01:59.:02:02.

In the next few months, the government are due

:02:03.:02:05.

to announce their proposals regarding what to do

:02:06.:02:07.

Interesting and important times are ahead for

:02:08.:02:12.

While passengers in Devon and the east of the region might

:02:13.:02:22.

welcome today's rail announcement, there's little, if any benefit

:02:23.:02:24.

for those travelling by train from Cornwall.

:02:25.:02:27.

Passengers in the county have been promised faster journey times

:02:28.:02:30.

on the mainline to Paddington, but that's still some time off.

:02:31.:02:34.

John Ayres has been gauging reaction.

:02:35.:02:38.

Rail passengers here, like fare payers right

:02:39.:02:40.

across the country, want to feel like they are being treated equally.

:02:41.:02:44.

Here in Penzance, it can feel like the nation's capital is a very

:02:45.:02:48.

Any rail investment will be welcomed by passengers, but Cornwall

:02:49.:02:52.

Penzance via Exeter via Tiverton Parkway and up

:02:53.:03:00.

to Paddington is definitely the route that needs

:03:01.:03:02.

I suppose if that part becomes very fast, I would probably go to Exeter

:03:03.:03:09.

It is much more economical and better for me to go

:03:10.:03:15.

The problem with rail travel in Cornwall is how long it

:03:16.:03:20.

It is about 180 miles from London Paddington to Exeter.

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The fastest train does it in just two hours,

:03:26.:03:28.

that's an average speed of 90 mph, but then from Exeter

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to Penzance it's 120 miles and that takes three hours,

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so the average speed has more than halved.

:03:38.:03:41.

What we need to do is get a time in the morning

:03:42.:03:44.

where a train goes from Truro, St Austell, Exeter and on to London,

:03:45.:03:48.

that will stop all those stops, so a real commuter line if you like,

:03:49.:03:51.

for business people travelling up to London and one on the way

:03:52.:03:54.

That will open up Cornwall to business in the

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The investment this time is private money from the franchise operators.

:03:58.:04:03.

The Transport Minister, Paul Maynard, says this announcement

:04:04.:04:05.

is about the South Western trains franchise and rail passengers

:04:06.:04:09.

in Cornwall will see improvements to rolling stock by the end

:04:10.:04:12.

NHS managers in Devon involved in controversial proposed cuts

:04:13.:04:20.

to the health service are being subjected to unacceptable

:04:21.:04:24.

levels of abuse, according to one local health commisioning group.

:04:25.:04:27.

Whilst there's no suggestion of any wrongdoing, the new Devon CCG claims

:04:28.:04:32.

senior staff have been verbally abused at some public

:04:33.:04:35.

meetings and in the street, and says some online comments use

:04:36.:04:39.

language that is physically threatening.

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We are seeing online postings of threatening and abusive behaviour,

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staff are experiencing abusive and threatening behaviour at public

:04:54.:04:59.

meetings and much more worryingly, staff are being verbally abused when

:05:00.:05:03.

they are going about their business, when they are not on work time and

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that is wholly inappropriate. Now a brief roundup of other stories

:05:06.:05:08.

making the news tonight. The case of a young mother

:05:09.:05:10.

who was killed by a speeding driver in a head-on crash near Bodmin,

:05:11.:05:13.

was heard at Truro Sabrina Bellman, who was on holiday

:05:14.:05:16.

from Hampshire, was on her way home from a Christmas pantomime

:05:17.:05:20.

with her family when 31-year-old Daniel Smith from St Teath hit them

:05:21.:05:22.

on Boxing Day in 2015. He's admitted causing death

:05:23.:05:25.

by careless driving, The trial began today of a Plymouth

:05:26.:05:27.

soldier accused of stabbing 26-year-old Jay Nava

:05:28.:05:34.

of the Royal Citadel is charged with murdering 26-year-old

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Natasha Wake in Winchester Crown Court heard Natasha

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was stabbed after she discovered he was being investigated

:05:43.:05:48.

for a sexual offence. Four small banks in Devon

:05:49.:05:51.

are closing this week because they say they're getting

:05:52.:05:56.

fewer customers through the door Lloyds is shutting its branches

:05:57.:05:59.

in Dartmouth, Salcombe, It's starting a new mobile service

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in the areas affected. Work starts tonight on a ?250,000

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scheme to install average speed cameras on the A38 and A380

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at Splatford Split, near Exeter. Highways England says the cameras

:06:14.:06:18.

along a two and a half mile stretch of the eastbound carriageway

:06:19.:06:22.

will improve safety. They're famous for building dams

:06:23.:06:30.

and now it's claimed beavers could be the answer

:06:31.:06:32.

to our flooding problems. A six-year trial at a secret

:06:33.:06:35.

location in Devon has Our environment correspondent

:06:36.:06:38.

Adrian Campbell has been The return of beavers

:06:39.:06:42.

to the River Otter in East Devon has But in another part of Devon,

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at a secret location sealed off by electric fencing,

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another group of beavers The results of their hard work over

:06:55.:06:58.

the past six years can There has been a dramatic change

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in the landscape where they have been living and working,

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with the creation of This is one of 13 dams along a 200

:07:09.:07:12.

metre stretch of this watercourse and you can see there is evidence

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of recent activity When you look closely you can

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see how big and deep Researchers from the University

:07:23.:07:28.

of Exeter have been monitoring the way the beavers have

:07:29.:07:37.

changed the watercourse. The black lines represent

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the new dams and the areas of blue are new pools which all slow down

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the flow of water. You can see the dam that runs

:07:43.:07:47.

along the face there. Mark Elliott says this project has

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shown how beavers can provide When water surges at the top

:07:51.:07:54.

of a site during a flood, those ponds and the dams hold

:07:55.:08:02.

the water back and it comes out here much slower as the dams

:08:03.:08:06.

are slowing the flow of flood water It can only help to reduce the speed

:08:07.:08:11.

of flood water coming down into the communities that live

:08:12.:08:17.

in the lower parts of the catchment, The University of Exeter's

:08:18.:08:20.

data shows flooding can The chopping down of trees

:08:21.:08:24.

and building of dams seems to work. Conservationists are keen

:08:25.:08:31.

to persuade politicians that areas of flooding might benefit from this

:08:32.:08:35.

type of natural engineering. Time to take a look at the weather.

:08:36.:08:51.

We have had some gorgeous weather, David. We have had temperatures

:08:52.:09:00.

today, 16, 17 degrees. Will that last? Probably, but not necessarily

:09:01.:09:06.

dry with sunshine. A change perhaps to more unsettled weather and we are

:09:07.:09:09.

expecting to see some showers tomorrow. Some sunny spells during

:09:10.:09:15.

the course of the week and right at the end, it turns colder. One

:09:16.:09:19.

weather front coming in by the end of the night. It will produce a

:09:20.:09:26.

fuchsia was. It brushes past us on its way northwards. What follows is

:09:27.:09:31.

more persistent rain which will be around tomorrow evening and

:09:32.:09:35.

Wednesday. Thursday we draw up some warmth from Spain and Portugal so

:09:36.:09:39.

temperatures slightly higher by Thursday. Higher temperatures

:09:40.:09:45.

through western France crossing the Channel towards us and we could be

:09:46.:09:53.

up to 16, 17 degrees. A weather front will move through on Friday

:09:54.:09:59.

introducing colder air. It is not particularly warm tonight.

:10:00.:10:04.

Temperatures not as low as last night but certainly five or 6

:10:05.:10:07.

degrees in a few places. Showers will trick trickle across northern

:10:08.:10:17.

parts of Devon into South Wales and what replaces that is brighter skies

:10:18.:10:23.

for a time. 14, 15 the top temperature. More persistent rain to

:10:24.:10:28.

end the day. The same weather system will be with us on Wednesday, so

:10:29.:10:33.

they could be a rather cloudy day with patchy rain around. Some warmth

:10:34.:10:38.

and brighter weather on Thursday and then that fresher, cold air arriving

:10:39.:10:42.

by the end of the week. Have a good night. The breakfast bulletins

:10:43.:10:50.

stopped just before 6:30am tomorrow morning. Goodbye.

:10:51.:10:55.

showery on Saturday, dry and brighter on Sunday and if we go back

:10:56.:10:58.

to the temperatures in the next couple days, you see those highs on

:10:59.:11:01.

Thursday. He is John Hammond with the national

:11:02.:11:17.

this cyclone Debbie crashes onto the Queensland coast with

:11:18.:11:18.

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