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Are drink driving penalties tough enough?

From the beginning of December, police forces across England and Wales are launching their annual Christmas Drink and Drug campaign - targeting anyone over the limit.

As police forces in the Tyne Tees region join the nation-wide crackdown, road safety charity Brake is calling for tougher punishments for those who break the law.

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High winds cause problems across the region

A viewer sent us this photograph of a wall collapse in Ushaw Moor Credit: Chrissy Turnbull

Strong winds have been bringing problems across the region. Among the issues reported:

  • North Yorkshire Police called to numerous reports on trees which have blown over
  • Tyne and Wear Fire Service dealing with trees, roofs and a chimney which posed a danger as a result of the weather
  • Northern Powergrid dealing with a number of power cuts, including the NE19 and NE48 postcode areas of Northumberland
  • Delays of up to 45 minutes on Northern Rail services between Newcastle and Carlisle
  • Delays on the Tyne and Wear Metro between Chillingham Road and St James due to obstruction on the line
A fallen tree in North Yorkshire Credit: North Yorkshire Police
A tree blocks a road in rural North Yorkshire Credit: North Yorkshire Police

Winds are now easing, and earlier restrictions on the A19 Tees Viaduct and the A66 have now been lifted.

Another picture of the damage to a gable end in Ushaw Moor Credit: Chrissy Turnbull


Saturday shoppers continue to enjoy 'Black Friday'

Retailers said on Saturday that they were reaping the benefits from the Black Friday sale event.

Although a great deal of business appears to have taken place online, our shopping centres are reporting brisk trade.

Many stores are offering discounts across the weekend, as part of extended Black Friday promotions.

The Metrocentre on Saturday. Credit: ITV News

Shoppers are expected to spend more than £3 billion by the end of Cyber Monday, despite a "muted" Black Friday on the high street prompting suggestions the American phenomenon has already peaked in the UK.

Saturday shoppers at the Metrocentre in Gateshead told ITV Tyne Tees that they were hoping to bag bargains during the extended Black Friday phenomenon, while many retailers reported a big rise in sales.

Retail giant Amazon reported record figures on Friday, with more than 7.4 million items ordered, leading to its biggest sales day ever in the UK.

Santa Ride on Teesside - more pictures

Here are some more pictures of today's Santa Ride on Teesside - to rise money for the Children's Hospice Zoe's Place.

Organised by the motorcycle group Boundary 500 - it is an annual event to raise money for local charities.

This year there were 225 Santas - and people dressed on other festive costumes - on 160 bikes.

Quite a site as they head out from Thornaby. Credit: Jim Forsyth
Ready Teddy....Go! Credit: Jim Forsyth
Raising funds for Zoe's Place, and raising smiles. Credit: Jim Forsyth
More Santas. Credit: Jim Forsyth
This one really IS Santa - check out the beard! Credit: Jim Forsyth
Paws for thought - is he at the right event? Credit: Jim Forsyth

Hundreds of Santa bikers on charity run on Teesside

160 motorbikes set off from Thornaby town centre on Teesside this morning for the Boundary 500 Santa Ride.

It is to raise money for the children's hospice Zoe's Place.

Santa bikers about to set off. Credit: ITV News

The 22 mile ride takes them through Stockton, Middlesbrough and South Bank - on the way to Kirkleatham Hall in Redcar.

This is the 9th year the event has taken place, and in that time the group has raised over £600,000 for local charities.

This year they were set on their way by ITV Tyne Tees presenter Pam Royle.

Is it going to rain dear? Pam Royle on a specially decorated bike. Credit: ITV News

The convoy of Santas was escorted by by Durham and Cleveland Road Policing Unit, and was followed by an open-topped bus carrying children, parents and staff from Zoe's Place.

These Santas always deliver a feel-good factor. Credit: ITV News

Boundary 500 get their name from the fact that their members ride the 500 mile boundary of the North East and Cumbria annually to raise money for local charities.

Boundary 500 have a Facebook site for more information and pictures.

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