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MPs discuss Manston Airport's future in committee

Campaigners hoping to see Manston Airport in Kent reopened have been in Westminster today, as MPs listened to evidence for restoring the runway for aircraft. The Airport closed in May 2014, amid fears that the site would be used for housing or commercial development. But many locals - including the MP - have never given up the fight to make the airport a commercial success. Our Political Correspondent Phil Hornby sent this roundup.

Landslide causes disruption for Thames Valley rail users

Disruption to rail travel between Banbury & Leamington Spa continues Credit: Bing

Rail passengers across the Thames Valley have faced misery today after a landslide blocked part of the line from Oxfordshire to the Midlands.

The landslide happened on Saturday afternoon near Harbury Tunnel in Warwickshire. The incident closed the line between Banbury and Leamington Spa.

It means services on the Chiltern Line - are seriously affected. Network Rail says it's still too dangerous to access the site as three hundred thousand tonnes of earth and rock is still moving. Callum Watkinson reports.

The interviewees are: Liam Sumpter from Network Rail; and Thomas Ableman from Chiltern Railways.

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  1. Mike Pearse

Level crossing crackdown: Thousands putting themselves and others at risk of death or injury

British Transport Police issue cctv to warn people to beware at level crossings

A stark warning has been issued to anyone who might misuse level crossings. The British Transport Police say that thousands of cyclists, motorists and pedestrians are continuing to put themselves at risk of death or injury - by trying to beat the barriers at level crossings.

In the last few months, alone, the British Transport Police has charged or issued summons to 400 motorists for traffic offences, issued fixed penalties to 357 people, and offered awareness courses to 568.

Now in one of the biggest ever crackdowns, police will be out in force across every region this week, using the latest technology to catch offenders - and warn of the dangers.

Tina Hughes who lost her daughter in a level crossing accident was there at the launch of the initiative to back the awareness campaign. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

The other interviewees are Inspector Becky Warren, British Transport Police; PC Simon Spencer-Briggs, a Mobile Safety Officer; and Clive Robey from Network Rail.

MPs to discuss Manston Airport's future

Manston Airport in Kent closed in May 2014

The future of Manston Airport to be discussed by MPs at the House of Commons this afternoon. The site closed in May 2014 with the loss of around 150 jobs.

The discussions are part of the Transport Select Committee's evidence sessions for its smaller airports inquiry. The witnesses due to speak include representatives of Kent Airport Ltd, RiverOak Investment Corp, Thanet District Council and Kent County Council.

Members of the Save Manston pressure group are also in London to make their voices heard.

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Charges suspended on the Dartford Crossing

The Dartford Crossing is being modified to allow for the creation of the new 'Dart Charge' scheme

The Highways Agency has temporarily suspended toll charges on the Dartford Crossing southbound until further notice - because of congestion.

The decision was made just before 10am this morning to help ease the severe traffic that has built up during roadworks taking place to introduce the new Dart Charge scheme. The Highways Agency said it also wants to reduce the risk of minor collisions in queuing traffic. The organisation said: - 'We are doing all we possibly can to help keep traffic moving.'.

Report finds Sussex route is UK's 'highest risk road'

The A285 runs between Chichester and Petworth

A new report has found that the UK's highest risk road is a stretch of less than 20 miles in West Sussex.

The number of crashes on the A285 between Chichester and Petworth has risen year on year. The Road Safety Foundation says that is because of the number of bends along the route.

The route runs north to south linking the A27 with the A272 and runs through the South Downs.

Virgin launch new route from Gatwick to Georgia, USA

Airline launches new route to Atlanta in Georgia Credit: ITV Meridian

Virgin Atlantic launched their new route to Atlanta in Georgia in the USA today. It was also the debut flight for their first Boeing 787 airliner - which took off from Gatwick Airport in Sussex. The company has ordered 16 of the aircraft in a deal worth seven billion dollars.

The airline, based in Crawley, say the new route is part of a strategy to develop more services to north America. It means they end the summer with some good news after the recent announcement about the phasing out of the domestic UK airline, Little Red. They are also pulling out of a number of long haul routes to the Far East and Africa earlier this year.

The firm's Chief Executive - Craig Kreeger, says the changes mean the airline is set to be profitable again this year:

Southeastern to run trains in region for next four years

Southeastern's rail contract extended for another four years

Southeastern will continue to run train services in Kent and Sussex for another four years it was confirmed today.

The Government say the company will invest £70 million to improve services which have been heavily criticised by passengers and MP's. The Government say it is "a fresh start" for the company an was better to extend the existing contract than go through the process of a new one.

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