There is heavy traffic on the M6 and M5 this morning:
One lane is closed and there is heavy traffic due to a broken down vehicle on the M5 Northbound between Junction 3 A456 (Halesowen / Birmingham) and Junction 2 A4123 (Oldbury / Birmingham).
One lane is closed and there is heavy traffic due to an accident on the M6 Southbound between Junction 6 A38(M) Aston Expressway / A5127 Gravelly Hill / A38 Tyburn Road / Slade Road Spaghetti Junction and Junction 5 A452 (Castle Bromwich).
The M5 is blocked Southbound with stationary traffic between Junction 4A M42 and Junction 5 A38 (Droitwich/Whychbold).
The carriageway is blocked to assist with a tyre change on a lorry.
Nottingham Express Transit has confirmed Phase Two of the city's tram project will open to the public today.
It follows two years of disruption and delays to residents as 17.5km of new tram lines have been laid to Clifton and Toton.
ANNOUNCEMENT - Our new expanded tram network will open TOMORROW. See link for Full story with launch ticket offer – http://t.co/TDODLp4h9j
Councillor Jane Urquhart, with lead responsibility for NET at Nottingham City Council, said:
“This is a really great day for Nottingham. It marks the dawn of a new era when NET becomes a true network and, with trams running from every seven minutes, it is all set to provide easier access to key locations right across the city.
Hundreds of people are expected at the unveiling of a plaque to mark the 40th anniversary of the Nuneaton station rail disaster.
A sleeper train from London to Glasgow with a hundred people on board came off the tracks at Trent Valley Station at more than 70 miles an hour, leaving six people dead and 38 injured.
The memorial plaque will be unveiled this afternoon to remember the tragedy and to pay tribute to the emergency services.
Bus service providers and traffic monitoring services are warning that there are still delays and bus diversions in the Digbeth area because of the ongoing fire.
#Birmingham - a serious fire ia being tackled by firefighters at Birmingham wholesale market in Digbeth. Pershore Street is closed...1/2
#Birmingham - aswell as a number of surrounding side roads. Anyone nearby is asked to keep doors / windows CLOSED due to heavy smoke.2/2
#DigbethFire Service 50, 97, 2, 3, 5, 6, 17, 73 have returned to normal routes. Please expect some delays.
Service 2, 3, 5, 6, 17 & 37 diverted via Coventry Road, Digbeth High street, Heathmill Lane, Fazeley Street and onto Park Street.
Service 73 is diverted via Digbeth High Street, Heathmill Lane, Fazeley Street and onto Park Street to continue normal line of route.
The Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council Councillor Alan Rhodes has issued the following statement on Toton becoming the preferred option for a HS2 station in the East Midlands.
“Nottinghamshire County Council has always been fully committed, 100 per cent, to Toton as we believe that a hub there would serve both Nottingham and Derby,"
“Toton would provide excellent overall connectivity for Nottinghamshire as a whole – including places to the north of the county like Kirkby and Mansfield – and bring enormous economic benefits, as well as improving travel time for passengers.
“Bringing HS2 to Nottinghamshire, combined with the dualling of the A453, will help make our county a place where businesses can flourish.”
The final decision on where the East Midlands station will be built will be made by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP, who will set out how the Government plans to take Phase Two of the high speed rail project forward later this year.
The cost of part of a proposed extension to Nottinghamshire's Robin Hood Line should be part-funded by the government, according to the county council.
The line currently runs between Worksop and Nottingham. Plans are in place to extend it to Ollerton.
The council's asking for half of the 200 thousand pounds needed for the next phase of the study.
Network Rail is issuing the following advice to people using Birmingham New Street station this weekend, as it expects a surge in numbers of people visiting the city by train.
- Allow more time to catch your train – it is likely you will have to queue at peak times from Friday afternoon through the weekend.
- The station will be busy. Be prepared for large crowds using the station.
- There will be crowd safety measures in place. These are tried and tested and there for passengers safety.
- Last Saturday an additional 100,000 people used the station compared to an average Saturday (230,000 compared to 130,000)
Crowd control measures will be in force at Birmingham New Street Station again this weekend, after 100,000 more people than usual passed through the station last Saturday.
People reacted on social media last week that the concourse was overcrowded, and one person complained his 5 year old son had been injured.
@networkrailbhm never mind the footfall; children and pregnant mums were getting crushed at the bottom of your escalators today.
@networkrailbhm this was while your crowd management staff were around. It was dangerous and my 5yo got injured.
Network Rail said however they had received no formal complaints, and insisted the measures put in place were completely safe.
Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market and the Black Friday shopping weekend were two of the reasons cited for it being unusually busy last weekend.
Nottinghamshire County Council have agreed to increase their contribution to the Special Hardship Fund set up to help traders affected by the tram works.
The council's increasing the package they offer to £50,000. Businesses along the extended routes through Beeston and Clifton say they've struggled to cope during the construction of the new tram lines.