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First phase of Wakefield smart motorway set to go live

Motorist will be able to use an extra lane on a section of the M1 near Wakefield from Saturday 5 December ahead of a new smart motorway going live later in the month.

First phase of Wakefield smart motorway set to go live Credit: Press Association

A 50mph speed limit will remain in place whilst contractors for Highways England test the technology before the first phase of the system goes live on a 7.5 mile stretch between junction 39 (Denby Dale) and junction 41 (Morley) on Saturday 12 December.

An extra lane will also open on the northbound carriageway between junction 41 and junction 42 (Lofthouse). Work is continuing between these junctions and a 50mph speed limit will remain in place until this phase of the smart motorway scheme goes live in the new year.

Smart motorways are already proving successful in other parts of the country and we have now reached a stage where we can open this section of the M1 between junctions 39 and 41. By opening this extra lane it will help to reduce congestion during peak times for drivers by providing four lanes to ease the flow of traffic.

– Tsuwun Bevan, Highways England project manager


'Human error' caused Alton Towers crash, say theme park owners

The crash on the The Smiler rollercoaster at Alton Towers which seriously injured five people was caused by "human error" and the ride will re-open next year, the theme park's owner Merlin Entertainments has said.

Credit: Press Association

Leah Washington, 18, from Barnsley had to have her left leg amputated after being trapped for hours. Her boyfriend Joe Pugh was also injured in the crash in June.

Virgin Trains to invest £21m in East Coast mainline

Virgin Trains has announced a multi-million million refurbishment programme for its fleet of 45 trains on the East Coast route from York to London and Edinburgh.

David Horne, Managing Director, Virgin Trains East Coast Credit: Press Association

The travel company will spend £21 million to give 400 carriages a complete refurbishment, with 24,123 seats replaced, and leather seats to be fitted in First Class.

New toilets, carpets and curtains will also be fitted and 35 new engines will be installed on the diesel High Speed Train fleet.

This is not only one of the biggest investments of its kind ever seen on the East Coast route, but also three years ahead of the introduction of new Super Express Trains as part of the Government’s InterCity Express programme.

We’re investing now so our customers can benefit from new seats and a great new on-board environment before we get a new fleet of 65 trains from 2018.

– David Horne, Managing Director, Virgin Trains East Coast

Second appeal after missing Leeds woman is spotted in Bradford

Police looking for a woman missing from Leeds say she has been spotted in Bradford.

Dagmara Holanova Credit: West Yorkshire Police

A second appeal has been put out for Dagmara Holanova, 34, who has been missing since Tuesday 3 November. She was last seen in the Armley area of Leeds between 5pm and 7pm. She is known to have links across Leeds, Bradford, Dewsbury and Rotherham.

Ms Holanova is described as a Slovakian woman, of Eastern European appearance, 5"7" tall, slim build with brown eyes and brown shoulder length hair. She was last seen wearing a pink jacket, black and white check trousers and white trainers.

There has been a sighting of Dagmara near to Bradford City Centre last week, and I would appeal to anyone in who has seen Dagmara, or knows where she is now to get in touch. Enquiries are ongoing.

– Detective Inspector Chris Gibson
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