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Rail disruption for passengers in the Thames Valley

Great Western Railway is reminding passengers to plan their journeys Credit: ITV News Meridian

Rail services in the Thames Valley will face major disruption from the end of this week as work begins to protect the tracks from flooding.

Replacement buses will cover affected routes. The work will continue through to mid-August.

The company have provided the following travel information:

Travelling between Oxford and Didcot during the work? Rail replacement coaches will operate in both directions up to every 12 minutes taking approximately 30-40 minutes; where customers can connect for onward services.

Travelling between Oxford and London? In addition to usual services between South Wales, Bristol and Cheltenham Spa (calling at Didcot) GWR will also operate: · An hourly service between London Paddington and Didcot calling at Slough and Reading · Two stopping services an hour calling at London Thames Valley stations between London Paddington and Didcot

Travelling between Oxford and Hereford? · One service an hour between Oxford and Worcester Foregate Street, with connecting London Midland services to Hereford · Peak hour trains in both directions between London Paddington and Worcester will be diverted via Cheltenham Spa extending journey times by 40 minutes

The improvements being made will bring Brunel’s railway into the 21st century providing a more resilient infrastructure and paving the way for the new electric trains. These improvement works will allow passengers to take advantage of the full benefits of electrification once complete: new trains, faster, more frequent services and importantly, given the growth this network has seen in recent years, more seats.”

– Richard Fry, Oxford Station Manager


Body cams for traffic wardens after rise in attacks

It is hoped body cams will make people Credit: ITV News Meridian

Traffic wardens in Gravesham will wear CCTV cameras on their uniforms from today in a bid to reduce the risk of attacks and to help to settle disputes over issuing fines.

It comes following a rise in aggressive incidents towards Civil Enforcement Officers over the past twelve months. In one incident a traffic warden suffered head injuries after being assaulted outside a school. He was off work for several weeks as a result, but police were unable to prosecute due to lack of evidence.

Gravesham Borough Council says it reports all incidents to Kent Police and the new body cams will provide clear evidence to help take action against offenders.

The safety of our officers is paramount and we will not tolerate any level of abuse or physical attack. There is an easy way for motorists to avoid a penalty notice – just park legally. There is never an excuse to assault or abuse public servants who are doing their jobs.

Our officers are trained in conflict management and they know how to defuse a situation. However, it can be very difficult to reason with some people and I hope these cameras will make those individuals think twice before they do something they might regret.

These officers do an important job, helping to keep our roads safe and enabling people to find somewhere to park in busy areas."

– Cllr John Cubitt, Council leader

Kayakers set to raise thousands in boy's memory

The father and brother of 10-year old Hampshire boy, Robbie Keville, who died from cancer earlier this year, have completed a 400-mile kayak challenge in his memory.

Dad, Mark Kevill, 52, and Harry, 20, from Odiham, kayaked an average of a marathon a day from Lancashire to Hampshire. They hope to raise £28,000 for a dedicated paediatric team at Southampton Children’s Hospital where Robbie was treated.

Before he died from a brain tumour Robbie founded the charity, robbiesrally, to help children adapt to normal life after completing their treatment. He recruited TV adventurer, Bear Grylls, as its patron.

Robbie was such an inspiration - his love of both life and people touched everyone he met. His spirit lives on encouraging those going through tough times to see sunshine where there is rain and hope where there is loss. robbiesrally allows us to help those most in need and Robbie himself must be so proud of all that we can do now together in his memory and for his legacy.”

– Bear Grylls, Patron of robbiesrally


Murder investigation launched after man's body discovered in Headley


Surrey Police has launched a murder investigation after the body of a man in his thirties was discovered at an address in Headley.

Officers and other emergency services were called to an address in Church Lane shortly after 2.30am today following reports of a disturbance at private party.

Police and ambulance crews quickly attended the location and found the body of the man, who was subsequently declared dead at the scene.

The man has not yet been formally identified and a post-mortem examination to establish the cause of death will take place in due course.

Several other people at the location are believed to have suffered serious injuries.

At this early stage no arrests have been made but officers are actively following up a number of lines of inquiry.

There continues to be a significant police presence in the area but officers would like to reassure the public that there is no ongoing risk to Headley residents.

A police cordon is in place and the road is expected to remain closed for several hours while the investigation continues.

Police are appealing to trace anyone who was at last night's event and may have seen the incident or with any information to come forward as a matter of urgency.

Further updates will be issued as the investigation continues.

The South joins the first Church Tourism Week

Credit: ITV news

Churches across the region are taking part in the UK's first Church Tourism Week. The celebration of some of our oldest buildings will see camping in some, and special events such a chance to climb historic church towers.

The Churches Conservation Trust hopes 2 million visitors will visit 349 participating sites. The initiative follows a £600,000 investment by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, to develop the Trust's urban churches into heritage visitor sites.

Crispin Truman, CEO of The Churches Conservation Trust, said, "England's treasured churches not only tell the fascinating histories of their communities, but also host some of the country's most extraordinary and imaginative events and activities. Our first Church Tourism Week is about celebrating the incredible events and experiences on offer in our churches and inviting people to explore these extraordinary buildings. There's something on offer for everyone, from new music to in-church-camping adventures, tower climbs, family trails, craft activities, art exhibitions and tea parties around the country.

St Peter's Church in Sandwich in Kent is among those taking part, where visitors can climb the Haven Heights tower for the first time and see views across the town. Visitors can also see the tower clock and bells up close and learn about the history of the 13th-century church through hands-on activities and displays. More information at

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