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30,000 expected at Southampton marathon

Ten thousand runners and up to 30,000 visitors are expected in Southampton tomorrow for the city's first full marathon in more than 30 years.

Four different runs will be taking place - the ABP full marathon (26.2 miles), the ABP Half marathon (13.1 miles), the ABP 10k and the ABP one mile family fun run.

Organisers say the event will create a welcome boost for the city’s economy, they're estimating that £750,000 will be spent in hotels, car parks, shops and restaurants. This year’s route will take participants in the opposite direction to previous years. For the first time ever, runners will take on three of the city’s bridges; Cobden, Northam and the Itchen Bridge. It will also go through St Mary’s Stadium.

All runners will finish in the race village in Guildhall Square. At the event’s climax it’s expected that 430 people will cross the finish line every 60 seconds.

Southampton marathon route Credit: ABP Marathon
  1. Phil Hornby

The Last Word, April 2017

As surprises, go this was one of the best-kept. When Theresa May announced this week, there'd be a General Election in June, no-one was expecting it.

The Commons backed the decision to hold a snap election by 522 votes to 13, formally firing the starting pistol on the election campaign. The Prime Minister urged MPs to "put our fate in the hands of the people"

In the south and south east, what will the people decide? After your votes:-

  • Kelly-Marie Blundell, the Lib Dem candidate in Lewes
  • Henry Bolton, from UKIP in Kent
  • Charlie Elphicke MP, the Conservative member in Dover, and
  • Solomon Curtis, from Labour in Sussex

And we also hear from Caroline Lucas, Brighton Pavilion's MP and the co-leader of the Green Party.


Busiest travel day ahead as Easter getaway begins

This afternoon is expected to be one of the busiest days of the year on the region's roads as the Easter getaway begins.

People are being warned journeys could take up to ninety minutes longer than usual.

Gatwick Airport is expecting it's busiest ever period with almost three million passengers planning to travel through the airport over the holidays.

  1. Tom Savvides

Green light given for new Thames Crossing

A new Thames crossing will be built from Kent to Essex, it was finally confirmed today. The route - Option C - will run under the Thames from east of Tilbury to Chalk, near Gravesend in a two mile tunnel - the longest in Britain. In Kent, a new road will link the route to the A2 close to Shorne. The project is expected to be completed by 2027 and could cost as much as six billion pounds. Its aim is to relieve congestion and pressure on the existing Dartford Crossing which currently handles 50 million crossings every year that's 135,000 a day. But while the news has been widely welcomed by business and transport groups, there are concerns from environmental groups about the impact of the new crossing. Tom Savvides has our report.


'It's completely unrecognisable'. Four years on what's become of the site of the Second Battle of Hastings?

They called it the 'second Battle of Hastings' - when environmental campaigners descended on a small corner of Sussex in a bid to stop a link road from being built.

For seven weeks the resulting protests caught national attention, but four years on what has been the fate of Combe Valley?

A year ago the road between Bexhill and Hastings was finally opened at a cost of some £127million but how has the landscape adapted as more developments are planned?

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to environmental campaigners Andrea Needham and Anthony Bradnum, as well as John Shaw, chief executive of Sea Change Sussex.

Schools rely on parents to pay for basic equipment

Growing numbers of primary and secondary schools are relying on parents to pay for basic equipment their children need for school.

Despite being told that record amounts of money is being spent on children's schooling by the Government.

As budgets become increasingly tight, schools are reluctantly asking mums and dads for cash.

Our Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford reports.

Christine spoke to Headteacher Pat Kerton, Steve Gray from the Parent Teacher Association and Emma Knights, the CEO National Governors' Association.

'Jobs at risk' if Goodwin Sands are not dredged

The Port of Dover says millions of pounds of investment and hundreds of jobs will be at risk if it can't dredge the material it wants from the Goodwin Sands.

The work will help expand the Western Docks and the port says getting sand from further away will massively increase the carbon footprint of the project.

Opponents of the scheme say they will ask for a judicial review if the Government does give the go-ahead later this year.

As Iain McBride reports.

Iain spoke to Neil Wiggins the Community Director at the Port of Dover, Bryony Chapman, a Marine Policy Officer from the Kent Wildlife Trust and Joanna Thomson from the Save Our Sands Campaign.

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