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Longleat offers bubble wrapped cars

Longleat offers bubble-wrapped vehicles Credit: Longleat Safari Park

Longleat is to offer visitors to the safari park the option of having their cars bubble-wrapped to protect them from their infamous troop of car-mad monkeys.

The Wiltshire attraction will be offering the special service to motorists before they enter the monkey ‘Drive-Thru’.

It will be available as an additional charged option with drivers pulling in to a designated wrap zone where staff will be on hand to carefully cover their vehicles with protective plastic.

On exiting the Safari Park it will be removed and recycled.

Longleat offers bubble-wrapped vehicles Credit: Longleat Safari Park

The vast majority of our visitors love the experience of driving through our monkey enclosure, and getting the opportunity to enjoy their antics at extremely close quarters.

However some drivers are put off by the prospect of having their car covered in the highly-curious and, occasionally, slightly destructive simians.

The bubble wrap will provide them with extra security and the confidence to brave the drive-thru safe in the knowledge their prized vehicle will remain untouched.

– Paolo Flirs, Longleat’s customer services assistant
Longleat offers bubble-wrapped vehicles Credit: Longleat Safari Park

True or False? Is this an April Fool?


  1. ITV West Country Political correspondent Bob Constantine

Election Analysis: First days of campaigning

The first two days of the "proper" General Election campaign have seen visits to Wiltshire by both David Cameron and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls.

Work and Pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has also been out and about in Devon and Cornwall.

The common thread of course is marginal seats. The Tories are mostly fighting the Lib Dems in the region, Labour the Tories. So these visits are to seats that matter most to the particular political party involved.

David Cameron breezed into Corsham - part of the Chippenham constituency, which they are hoping to take from the Lib Dems.

While it was no more than a rally for the party faithful, the fact that he spoke without the usual jacket and tie made front page pictures and suggested a man full of energy and willingness to "roll his sleeves up".

It was noticeable that he said he didn't want another coalition, and that he got a resounding "No!" from the audience when he asked whether they wanted Mr Balls as Chancellor.

Mr Balls then went to Wiltshire himself - talking about business rates in Swindon South, then joining in a pensioners' singsong in Kingswood.

In our studio, he brushed off suggestions of economic mismanagement - HE didn't cause the collapse of Lehmann Brothers - but was cagey about whether Labour plans to tinker with the 40p tax band.

Given the tax rises he's denied - VAT, national insurance - there's scope to insert a new band for those on say, £75-£150,000.

We'll learn more when Labour publishes its manifesto.


Thousands of new Rugby World Cup tickets go on sale

Gloucester will host Rugby World Cup matches. Credit: England Rugby 2015

Rugby fans who don't have their World Cup tickets yet can relax - 20,000 new tickets go on sale today.

With Gloucester's Kingsholm stadium one of the venues hosting World Cup matches, rugby fever is going strong in our region. Local clubs are getting young people involved, and fans are eagerly awaiting the chance to see the biggest event in the rugby calendar on their home turf.

Click here for the link to the ticket sale. More will be released over the next few months, before the tournament begins in September.

Binge drinking costs nearly £5billion a year

Research by the University of Bath says binge drinking costs the tax payer billions Credit: PA: Dominic Lipinski

Research by the University of Bath and the University of Essex has concluded the effects of binge drinking costs the UK £4.9 billion a year.

Academics looked at a range of social and economic factors, including A&E admissions, road accidents, arrests and police officers on duty to come up with the figure.

The combined £4.9 billion total costs each person in the UK the equivalent of £77 per year.

The team estimates that binge drinking increases the average daily number of injury-related admissions to A&E by 8% - equivalent to 2,504 additional daily admissions nationally.

The average number of road accidents each day go up by 17% - equivalent to 82 additional accidents a day nationally - while they say the average number of alcohol-related arrests increases by 45%, which is equivalent to 786 additional arrests per day nationally.

Much is known about the effects and costs of sustained heavy drinking in relation to increased risks of chronic diseases, the damage to social relationships and the increased burden placed on public services. However, little is known about the economic and social effects of binge drinking.

We hope this calculation of the economic costs can act as a catalyst for policy makers in the UK to take targeted action that reduce the cost of binge drinking to society.

– Dr Jonathan James, University of Bath

To offset these costs the researchers suggest a 52p minimum unit price for alcohol and an increase in alcohol excise duty directly in line with alcohol strength should be considered. This could see a pint of beer increase by 23p, and a bottle of wine by 99p.

Because the pre-election period has now begun the Department of Health is unable to issue a response but suggests those concerned should look at its website for more information. Click here for link.

Gary Johnson appointed as Cheltenham Town manager

Gary Johnson appointed as Cheltenham Town manager Credit: Gareth Fuller/EMPICS Sport

Cheltenham Town have appointed Gary Johnson as their manager until the end of the season.

The former Yeovil Town and Bristol City boss takes charge with immediate effect.

On Saturday Cheltenham slipped to the bottom of the Football League.

With just seven games left in the season Johnson will be trying to preserve their Football League status.

On the Cheltenham Town website Gary Johnson says:

"I was honoured to be asked to take on the manager’s role at Cheltenham Town until the end of the season.

I am very happy to be working with Russell, Steve and Jamie (Victory). I understand the position the club are in and I will be doing my best along with Russell to keep the club in the Football League.

I am looking forward to getting started. I know the club, the staff and the players well and I am looking forward to getting into the swing of it and doing everything we can to succeed in our mission. It’s all hands on deck for the last seven games.”

– Gary Johnson
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