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The very real dangers on our motorways

Most drivers spend many hours of our lives on motorways - but the gangs who carry out the roadworks risk their lives every day.

In fact, more than 300 have been killed in the last five years.

The dangers can be worse at night and, of course, when drivers speed or use mobile phones.

Roadworks on the M60 around Manchester are a particular nightmare for motorists at the moment.

The work will make it a smart motorway able to monitor a variety of different speed limits.

Ashley Derricott reports:

Dangers facing our road workers

The dangers facing people who work on motorways and major A roads in Greater Manchester will be highlighted today. Road workers will talk about the risks from passing traffic. Last year saw the highest number of serious injuries for six years, with ten road workers suffering major injuries across England.

Credit: PA

 new multi million pound smart motorway scheme is currently underway on a 17 mile stretch between the M60 near Sale and the M62 near Rochdale. 317 people were injured while working on or near motorways and major A roads in the five years between 2009 and 2013.

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Man sentenced for running illegal landfill site

A man has been given a suspended prison sentence for running an illegal landfill site in central Manchester.

Princeston Valentino Green, 51, from Kidderminster was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years at Manchester Crown Court. He was also fined £3000, ordered to undertake 200 hours community service.

Enough waste was found to fill five Olympic-sized swimming pools Credit: Environment Agency

Officers from the Environment Agency found enough waste to fill five Olympic-sized swimming pools at the site at the Old Lancashire Dairy Mill at Knowsley Street

The waste was found at the Old Lancashire Dairy Mill Credit: Environment Agency

Environmental Crime Officer Sharon Owen said: “This is a great result for the community andbusinesses in central Manchester. The waste being stored illegally by Green andothers was an eyesore, posed huge health risks and blighted the local environment.

“The court imposed thesentence using with recently issued Sentencing Guidelines. Those committing serious waste crime face theprospect of significant penalties, including imprisonment.

Chester Zoo's celebrating the arrival of a pair of rare chicks

Newborn West African crane chick Credit: Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo is celebrating the arrival of two extremely rare chicks usually found in the African Savannah.

The baby birds are the first of their kind to hatch in a UK zoo this year and arrived after a 30-day incubation period.

West African black-crowned crane with newborn chicks

Keepers captured the moment the pair of West African black-crowned cranes as they take their first tentative steps with their watchful mum.

"This is a very significant breeding - the first in the UK this year.

Currently the chicks are small, yellow and fluffy and it's hard to believe that they'll grow up to look as striking and unusual as mum and dad.

But soon enough they'll develop golden feathers on top of their heads that almost resemble a Roman helmet. Already the young are very confident and capable of foraging with their parents."

– Curator of birds at Chester Zoo Andrew Owen
West African black crowned crane Credit: Chester Zoo

West African black-crowed cranes are vulnerable to extinction according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with just 15,000 estimated to remain in the wild.

The striking birds can be found from the western African country of Senegal to the central African country of Chad, but their habitat is under threat due to drainage, overgrazing and pesticide pollution.

The capture and trade of the species as 'guard dogs' is also having a dramatic effect on wild numbers.

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Cuadrilla: Occupation 'harmful' and 'anti-democratic'

A Cuadrilla spokesperson has described the occupation of offices in Blackpool by anti-cracking protesters as 'anti-democratic'.

They told us: “Cuadrilla has consistently made clear that we support the right to peaceful protest, but taking the law into your own hands – through trespass or direct action - is anti-democratic and harmful to local farmers, business and other job creators during an important time in Blackpool’s farming and business calendar.”

Anti-fracking protesters occupy offices linked to Cuadrilla

A group of around ten anti-fracking activists from the Reclaim the Power camp are occupying Chamber of Commerce offices in Blackpool, where Cuadrilla have a base.

The company’s office is located in an industrial park two kilometres from the farmland that Cuadrilla hopes to frack.

Several members of the group have secured themselves in place in the foyer of the building using plastic “arm tubes”.

According to the No Dash For Gas website, the activists intend to remain in the office until they are removed by police.

Anti-fracking protesters occupy offices linked to Cuadrilla Credit: ITV News
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