Friday, 4 October 2013

90-year-old man dies after Lancaster road accident

Police are appealing for witnesses following the death of 90-year-old driver Richard Tredgold, who was involved in a collision in Lancaster last month.

Around 10.40am on Wednesday 18th September, a Ford Fiesta and a Vauxhall Frontera collided on Wyresdale Road at the junction of Littlefell Lane.

Mr Tredgold, who was driving the Fiesta, was taken to Royal Lancaster Infirmary with what were initially believed to be minor injuries. However he died in hospital on Saturday as a result of his injuries last week.

The driver of the Frontera did not suffer any injuries.

Sergeant Malcolm Bell said: “Initially we believed Mr Tredgold to have suffered only minor injuries, but sadly he passed away yesterday.

“The circumstances surrounding this collision are being investigated and I would urge anyone who witnessed it or has any information about it to contact police.”

• Anybody with any information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at

County council supports change in cigarette packaging

Lancashire County Council has written to all north west MEPs and urged them to vote in favour of introducing a directive which would change cigarette packaging.

On Tuesday 8th October, the European Union will vote on a revised EU Tobacco Products Directive.

In a letter to the MEPs, County Councillor Azhar Ali, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, has encouraged them to vote in favour of a mandate for discussions to start on the directive between the European Parliament, Council and Commission.

The directive sets out changes to packaging designed to protect children from becoming addicted to smoking and to help smokers to quit.

These changes include:

  • Large health warning images covering 75% of the front and back of all tobacco products
  • A ban on ‘slim’ cigarettes and cigarette packs (sometimes called ‘lipstick’ or ‘perfume’ packs)
  • A ban on ‘characterising’ flavours (menthol, strawberry, vanilla)
  • Strong, independent controls against counterfeiting and the illicit trade
  • The regulation of e-cigarettes as medicines and allowance for EU member states to introduce further measures independently (e.g. plain, standardised packaging or a prohibition on internet sales)

County Councillor Azhar Ali said: "I believe these changes would really help us reduce the number of people who smoke in Lancashire if they were brought in."

"22 per cent of people smoke here in the county and that's higher than the national average."

"Each year, hundreds of thousands of children aged between 11 and 15 begin a lifelong addiction to smoking and by making packaging less attractive, and making the warnings more noticeable, we hope to reduce this number.

"We think that these measures would also help people who currently smoke to quit for good.

"Smoking remains the major cause of preventable premature death, killing 100,000 people a year nationally – more than the next six causes put together, including alcohol, obesity and illegal drugs.

"The revised Tobacco Products Directive would be vital in helping protect us and our children from the harmful effects of smoking and I'd like MEPs to vote in favour of its introduction."

Heysham M6 Link Road: court judgement is a blow but common sense can still prevail

The legal challenge to the HM6L was heard in July at the High Court in Manchester.  The challenge was launched by  Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe and the judgement was announced today, rejecting the challenge. 

The High Court judgement is a setback for those who object to the bypass but it is not the end of legal challenge possibilities and the case against the road is so strong that further action is in the pipeline.

Commenting on the High Court judgement today local transport expert John Whitelegg said:

“The judgement is as full of holes as the original case for the bypass itself but there is still time for common sense to prevail. The result of the detailed examination of these issues in front of a High Court judge confirms that the road will not ease congestion problems, will lead to the loss of over 1000 jobs, will saddle county council taxpayers with a £12 million debt and will destroy the green belt.

"The fact that it took a judge 72 days to make up his mind on this legal challenge shows that it was not an open and shut case and our efforts to scrap the road will be stepped up.”

Link Road Challenge judgement disappoints, but fight continues

As we reported earlier, the judgement in the legal challenge to the Heysham M6 Link was published today. The judge Mr Justice Turner did not agree with the arguments put forward by campaign group Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe, who have campaigned tirelessly for an alternative and more sustainable transport plan for the area.

TSLM Chair David Gate said: “We’re sorry that the Courts did not accept our legal case. The judge did accept that these were serious arguments, seriously presented, and he considered them seriously, Indeed, so serious were the arguments and the contradictions in the Council’s case, that it took the judge 10 weeks to reach a decision.

“The judge did agree with us on some points, e.g. that the consultations were defective.

“We have taken legal advice, and that is that there are errors in the judge’s decision, and there are good grounds for a successful appeal against it. So we shall ask the courts for permission to appeal.”

Mr Gate added: “This judgement was on the legal process, not the road itself. It is still crystal clear that this road is not value for money. It will not help congestion in Lancaster . It will not help regeneration in Morecambe. Sacrificing our Green Belt is too high a price to pay for such dubious benefits.

“And businesses don’t really think it will work. When asked, not a single business contributed a single penny towards it.

“It is an out-of-date scheme, and evidence continues to mount up against it. Now that scientists are saying that it is 95% certain that Global Warming is cased by humans, this is not the time to make that process worse by increasing harmful emissions and encouraging more car use.

“The cost is too high, and rising. The Council has already spent £13 million on design and preparation costs since 2005. Now it has written a blank cheque, to be drawn on Lancashire ’s taxpayers, for £12 million plus all overspend. It has recently increased that to £18 million, before a sod has been cut. We estimate that a further £9 million has been notched up already. The Council’s errors and bungling have led to delays and extra costs, to the tune of £5 million a year.

“The Council should cut their losses and withdraw the scheme now.”

Heysham M6 Link Road moves a step closer

Work on the £124 million Heysham to M6 Link Road has moved a step closer after the High Court rejected an application for a judicial review with a compelling judgment.

In a statement announcing the road is to go ahead as planned, the County Council has also indicated its hopes that the building of the link will improve the chance of a third nuclear power station at Heysham.

Campaigners against the link road, Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe, had requested permission to apply for a judicial review to challenge the decision by the Secretary of State to grant development consent for the project.

TSLM argued that there were five very substantial grounds on which the decision should be challenged, ranging from incorrect treatment of European nature conservation designations to the fact that the scheme is not and never was a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. These areas of concern, they argued, called into question the legality of the decision made by the Transport Secretary.

At a two-day hearing held on 22 and 23 July, TSLM sought to argue its grounds for challenging the decision, all of which were resisted by the Secretary of State for Transport and Lancashire County Council.

The Judge issued his Judgement on 4th October when he rejected all five grounds put forward for the challenge and refused TSLM permission to make the application for judicial review.

The Judge found that there was no arguable case that the decision to grant development consent was unlawful. Moreover, the Judge went even further when declaring that even if he had been persuaded the wrong procedure had been used to obtain permission for the scheme to go ahead, one of the five grounds of challenge, he would not have exercised his judicial discretion to set the consent aside.

The Judge explained that the development consent process is thorough and comprehensive and it is overwhelmingly likely that consent would have been given for the scheme regardless of the route by which it had been achieved.

The road has long been one of Lancashire County Council's top priority transport schemes, with development consent being awarded in March 2013 following a lengthy process that included a six month examination period with three weeks of public hearings.

The County Council has always claimed its construction will herald the start of a new era for economic growth and better transport on the Morecambe and Heysham peninsula. The road is supported by the government who have agreed to invest £111m towards the cost.

County Councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "The link road was given development consent because there's such a strong case for it in terms of value for money and the benefits to the economy and local transport it will bring.

"We've always been confident of the case for the road, which enjoys wide support from people and businesses in the area and I'm very happy that we are closer to getting on with the job.

"The M6 Link will be an engine for economic growth for the whole region, it's always been more than just a road building scheme."

The road will connect the peninsula directly to the M6, providing better access to Morecambe and industrial areas which include the Port of Heysham and the Heysham power stations.

The Council claims it will also reduce congestion in the Lancaster area especially on Caton Road, Morecambe Road and the Greyhound and Skerton bridges. Opponents argue the traffic reductions will be temporary at best, and will actually increase traffic congestion in other parts of the district, including Halton.

Heysham port, the third largest in the North West, is developing as a hub for services to Ireland. It is the supply base for major offshore gas field and wind farms. In its press statement announcing the rejection of the TSLM appeal, the Council also says the road would also improve access to a proposed third nuclear power station and the industrial estates on the peninsula such as White Lund.

Road access to the port, which specialises in roll-on roll-off freight, is currently severely congested and unreliable, with increasing costs and falling efficiency acting as a barrier to further growth.

As well as easing congestion, the link road project features a number of associated improvements including a Park and Ride scheme with buses running into Lancaster city centre, and bus priority, cycle and walking measures.

The Council claims the scheme will bring ongoing regeneration benefits, with 3,000 people due to be employed during construction alone. Up to 100 local unemployed people will receive training and jobs during construction.

The Council says a study has predicted that every £1 invested in the link road will earn £4.40 for the economy. The contractor, Costain, has been selected to construct the road and has been in discussion with local firms for some time.

An additional benefit of reduced congestion will be improved air quality and the scheme includes a number of measures to protect the environment by improving wildlife habitats, tree cover and watercourses.

A price has been agreed with Costain that gives an estimated construction cost of £124m. The Department for Transport have said they will contribute £111m and Lancashire County Council will fund the remainder.

Transpsort Solutions has yet to comment on the decision.

• Lancashire County Council has redesigned the website for the project to make it easy for you to stay up to date throughout construction. It will be launched soon at - search for 'Heysham Link'

Council issues busking regulations

Lancaster City Council has published its guidelines for buskers, in response to concerns raised that "inconsiderate busking can cause disturbance to businesses who may find it difficult to serve customers or use telephones due to loud noise."

The full guidance is as follows

Buskers and street performers

Lancaster City Council values the contribution made by buskers and street performers in helping to create a vibrant and enjoyable city centre. However, inconsiderate busking can cause disturbance to businesses who may find it difficult to serve customers or use telephones due to loud noise.

Please abide by the following guidelines when busking in Lancaster city centre:
Keep noise levels to an acceptable level so as not to cause a nuisance to the surrounding premises. As a rough guide, if you can be heard 30m away, you are too loud!

Perform for a maximum of one hour in any one area, with no return within two hours.
Play acoustically if possible. You are far more likely to cause disturbance if you use amplifiers or backing tracks.

No more than three performers should perform at a time.

Keep away from cash machines, fire exits and phone booths.

No selling of any products is permitted.

No busking is allowed within 20m of Horseshoe Corner.

The guidelines will be enforced if complaints are received by the police or Lancaster City Council.

Performers who repeatedly breach these guidelines will not be permitted to perform in the Lancaster City Council area.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Serious sexual assault on new student at The Sugarhouse

Lancaster Police are investigating the serious sexual assault of an 18 year old female student which happened around 1.00am on Tuesday 1st October 2013 in the ladies' toilets of The Sugarhouse Night Club, Sugar House Alley, Lancaster.

Approximately 1400 people were at the club that night for a Freshers' Week party to welcome new students to the university.

The Police have issued an appeal for anybody with any information about this incident to come forward, saying:

"We would like to reassure people that anybody who does come forward with any information will be treated with respect and sensitively as we appreciate this is a very difficult matter.

"We understand people may feel anxious and alarmed at this time, but we would like to reassure students that serious sexual assaults are very rare.  
"We would also like to reassure students that there is a full team of detectives working on this case and we are doing all we can to find the person responsible.  

"The woman is being supported by specially trained officers and the University at this time and we will continue to offer her support for as long as she needs it.  

"Please contact Lancashire Police on 101 and quote log reference number LC-20131002-0663 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. "

Virtual-Lancaster's guide to rape prevention:

Rape is a serious criminal offence. Don't rape.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Signposted: Lancaster Uni's links with arms dealer BAE

Last Saturday 28 September, the sign at the main entrance of Lancaster University was 'modified' to highlight the university's partnership with BAE Systems.

BAE’s corporate logo and the slogan “Careers in Killing” were added to the sign.

Virtual-Lancaster has received the following press release:

"BAE systems are the world’s third largest arms dealer. 95% of their sales are military in nature. The corporation sells indiscriminately where ever it thinks it can make a profit; from the handcuffs in Guantanamo bay to the HUD displays of Israeli fighter jets, BAE profits through death dealing. They are also mired in multiple corruption cases, having been investigated by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office and the US Department of Justice.

"BAE and other arms companies rely on universities to perform crucial research and to recruit graduates. They are not only sponsored by the university, but they also sponsor courses in the management school. Lancaster University want to brush their involvement with BAE under the carpet, unaccountably not involving students with the running of the university. By taking this action it is hoped that we can begin to create a real debate on the presence of arms companies on campus."

The release was signed 'George Fox  (Retired)'. We understand this to be a reference to the George Fox 6, a group of students who were charged with Aggravated Trespass for demonstrating in 2004 at a corporate venturing conference at the university:

"The protesters unfurled banners during the opening speech by Lord Sainsbury, given before an audience consisting of delegates from such companies as The Carlyle Group, BOC (suppliers of poison gas to Huntingdon Life Sciences), BAE Systems, Alvis, GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever, DuPont and Shell. They were protesting against arms manufacture, the destruction of the environment, GM crops, animal testing and human rights." (see report)

The event was thought at the time to be something of a recordbreaker for including so great a complicity of objectionable issues at once.  BAE Systems were noted to have sold 15 Hawk jets to the Indonesian government, which had used them in killing half a million East Timorese. They had also sold 8,000 electric stun batons to Saudi Arabia, an act condemned by Amnesty International. 

An irony not lost on the court where the demonstrators received Conditional Discharges a year later was the fact that the university building used for the conference, which involved so many companies condemned internationally for their involvement in human rights abuses and unethical practices, was named after George Fox, a devout and committed pacifist and founder of the Society of Friends. Indeed the university colours include Quaker Grey and in previous times the University boasted of its proud tradition of dissent and free-thinking.  Local Quakers wrote to object to this usage of the building named after their founder.

Projects in which Lancaster University is currently in partnership with BAE Systems include the Gamma Programme, developing unmanned systems.  "Growing Autonomous  Mission Management Applications (GAMMA) is a three year £9.1 million, Autonomous Systems programme aimed at driving SME engagement and developing technology within the emerging autonomous systems markets." 

Appeal after pedestrian is seriously injured in Carnforth accident

Police are appealing for information after a pedestrian was hit by a car in Carnforth last week.

The collision occurred at around 10.05pm on Friday 27th September on Scotland Road in Carnforth when a silver Ford Mondeo, which was travelling towards Lancaster from Carnforth, collided with the man, who was stood in the road.

The 24-year-old man from Carnforth suffered serious leg and pelvic injuries and was taken through to Royal Preston Hospital where he remains receiving treatment.

“I am keen to hear from anyone who may have been in the area at the time," commented Sergeant Dave Hogarth, "and may have witnessed what happened to contact police.”

Anybody with any information can contact police on 101 quoting log number LC-201300927-1668.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Boy, 14, assaulted in Morecambe

Police are appealing for information after a 14-year-old boy was assaulted in an unprovoked attack in Morecambe.

At around 9.40pm on Saturday 28th September, the teenager was cycling along the pavement on Out Moss Lane when another teenager punched him, knocking him off his bike.

The offender, who was in a group of four, is described as white, around 17-18 years old and was wearing a black hooded top.

PC Faye Tinker said: “This was a nasty, unprovoked assault which resulted in the boy being knocked unconscious when he fell from his bike and banged his head.

“As such he doesn’t really remember too much about what happened and we are appealing for anybody with any information at all about this incident to contact police.”

Anybody with any information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at

No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Work to start on Lancaster's Memorial Gardens

Work will start tomorrow (Wednesday 2nd October) on restoring Lancaster’s Memorial Gardens ahead of next year’s centenary of the World War One.

The extensive works will include the pruning of trees, removal and clearing back of shrubs, along with restoration of the gates, railings and lanterns.

The paving around the Memorial Gardens will also be re-laid and repairs made to the surface of the adjacent road.

Councillor Tim Hamilton-Cox, Cabinet member with responsibility for Property, said: “The Memorial Gardens have unfortunately started to show their age and it’s only right and proper that we undertake some work on them to make sure they are looking their best.

“With next year being the centenary of the start of World War One it’s also very timely.

“These works will bring the Gardens back to their best and a fitting setting to honour those who died in the service of their country.”

The majority of the works should be completed in time for Remembrance Sunday.

Access to the Customer Service Centre will remain open throughout the duration of the project.

Police launch Operation Bramble, new road safety campaign

A new road safety campaign has been launched by Lancashire Constabulary focusing on roads around Lancaster, Morecambe and Fleetwood.

Operation Bramble will run for the month of October, with the aim of reducing the number of casualties, particularly among vulnerable road users. This will be done via a combination of educating road users and increased enforcement efforts in the local area.

This is in response to a recent rise in the number of people who have been killed or seriously injured on the roads around Lancaster, Morecambe and Fleetwood. It is felt these rises are due to the good summer weather leading to increased use of the roads by more vulnerable road users, specifically cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.

Sergeant Nigel Ralphson of Lancaster Police’s Road Policing Unit, said; “Most collisions have been caused by road users not giving the road their full attention. Furthermore, it should be said it is no one group’s fault. For example, in the majority of cases when a pedestrian or motorcyclist has been knocked down, it is actually the pedestrian or motorcyclist who is at fault, whereas when a cyclist has been knocked down, it is generally not the cyclist’s fault.

“Everyone, whether they are on foot, two wheels or four, has to play their part to ensure we can reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads”.

“In particular, I would strongly encourage the region’s motorists, particularly motorcyclists, to take advantage of the variety of courses offered by Lancashire County Council. Many of them are free, and will do a great deal to help you be safer on our roads.”

As part of their enforcement efforts, Lancashire Constabulary will be focusing on the following roads:

  • A683 between Lancaster and Kirby Lonsdale- The majority of collisions have been due to the driver taking the corner too quickly. In a third of cases, the driver has been a teenage female
  • A588 between Poulton and Lancaster- Most collisions have occurred due to the driver taking corners too quickly. Again, in more than a third of cases, the driver has been a teenage female
  • A586 between Garstang and Poulton
  • A587 between Cleveleys and Fleetwood
  • A6 between Lancaster city centre south and Galgate
  • A6 around Morecambe
  • A6 around Wyre
  • A585 between Poulton and Fleetwood
  • Lancaster Road, Morecambe
  • B5268 between Poulton and Fleetwood
• The government runs a number of ‘Bikeability’ courses for cyclists. For more information, please visit

• Lancashire County Council also runs a number of road safety courses for motorists, some of which are free. For more information, please visit

Lancaster Maritime Museum seeks your memories of Morecambe

Three 'Miss Sunshine' contestants posing on the central promenade. But who are they - do you know? Photo: Morecambe Publicity Archive

Could you help to identify the people, places or events in photographs of Morecambe taken more than 50 years ago?

If so, staff at Lancaster Maritime Museum would like to hear from you.

The photographs in question, which will form part of a new exhibition, are just a small part of the Morecambe Publicity Archive, which holds thousands of images produced for the town's tourism department during the mid-twentieth century.

The pictures range from strikingly framed shots of models to candid images of ordinary holidaymakers from a bygone era, together with some stunning landscapes.

"On our website we have more than 100 photographs from the archive," explains Rachel Roberts, Lancashire County Council's manager at the Maritime Museum. "Many of these have no supporting information, and often we do! not have notes on the photographer, and are not even sure who the photos are of, or where they were taken.

Miniature Railway train, West End Pleasure Park. Photo: Morecambe Publicity Archive
"We would invite anyone who knows anything about the photographs to go to the website and get in touch using the link there."

Nearly 50 photographs from the archive will later form part of an exhibition, Everything Under the Sun, which opens at the museum in November. The exhibition will include special panels and areas where visitors can leave their memories or thoughts about the photographs for others to see.

The website and contact link have been set up specifically to gather memories and information relating to the images in the run-up to the exhibition. This will help to make sure that submissions are accurate and recorded properly, and can then become a permanent part of the archive.

People can see the images by visiting and clicking on 'Everything Under the Sun'.

Everything Under the Sun will run from Tuesday 19th November 2013 until Sunday 9th March 2014. The Maritime Museum is managed by Lancashire County Council on behalf of Lancaster City Council

Man charged with attempted murder after Scotforth Road attack

Gary Davies, 25, of Blades Street, Lancaster has been charged with attempted murder and false imprisonment, following a domestic incident at an address on Scotforth Road in Lancaster last night. He was remanded to appear before Lancaster Magistrates Court this morning where he was further remanded until 13th October for an appearance at Preston Crown Court.

Just before 1.00am this morning (Tuesday 1st October) police were called to an address on Scotforth Road where they found a 19-year-old woman with several stab injuries including a wound to the neck.

The woman the taken to Royal Lancaster Infirmary where she received stitches before being discharged. 

Beyond the Castle project announces public meeting

Discussion on the future of public and private land around Lancaster Castle continues this week with a public meeting and site visit on Saturday 5th October.

Join the Beyond the Castle team at 2.00pm in The Storey, to discuss key landscape management challenges and also the future opportunities for the urban green space from the Lancaster Castle Precinct to St George's Quay.

Brief presentations from an ecologist and archaeologist at Lancashire County Council will be followed by discussion and a site visit at 4.00 pm.

The purpose of the meeting and site visit is to start a discussion and exploration of landscape management with the view to work towards agreed management plans for the grassland, trees and shrubs on site.     

• For more information contact Beyond the Castle at 01772 538143 or 07887 831154 or visit!/events/733710819989521/ or 

Monday, 30 September 2013

Lancaster Beekeepers buzz back with Annual Show

Image: Dave Hamilton

Lancaster Beekeepers will be holding their Annual Honey Show on Saturday 12th October from 2.00 to 4.00pm in Hest Bank Memorial Hall.

The event includes free honey tasting and local honey for sale. Other delights include hand crafted honey, the sale beeswax products and tombola. 

Tea, coffee and homemade cakes are available.

The show is an opportunity for people to see honey and honey products that have been produced by members of local beekeeper groups and find out more about what makes good quality honey.

Honey is a premium natural food, with many benefits both nutritionally and medicinally. It is delicious in cakes and chutneys and is an essential ingredient in traditional mead – honey wine. Bees are also wax makers, which is used in candles, polish and cosmetics.

To produce the honey for us to take from the beehive, and use in these various ways, we're told these wonderful insects fly over 55,000 miles to collect a pound of honey – the equivalent to flying 1½ times round the world!

• The Show runs from 2 – 4 pm at Hest Bank Memorial Hall, Hanging Green Lane, Hest Bank and all are welcome. For a schedule, please go to

Appeal after foiled cash in transit robbery in Lancaster

Police are appealing for witnesses after a foiled robbery on a cash delivery van in Lancaster city centre on Friday 27th September 2013, which saw a police officer injured.

At 10.30am security guards alerted police of two vehicles following their Mercedes delivery van in the city centre. Both of the cars were quickly intercepted but made off at speed through the city.

One vehicle, a stolen silver Audi TT registration number MT12 EWH, mounted the pavement on George Street striking a police officer who was attempting to stop it. Fortunately he was only suffering minor bruising.

The second car, a stolen white Audi A6 estate, registration DU61TXY drove off down Aldcliffe Road and was last seen on St Michaels Lane in St Michaels village around an hour later.

The police are appealing for witnesses that may have seen both Audis and also a man who abandoned the Audi TT on Knowsley Close in Lancaster.

The man is described as white with a weathered face or dark complexion, aged between 30 – 40 years old, unshaven; with short dark hair wearing a black front zipped top over a blue t-shirt.

This man was last seen running across fields towards the canal in the vicinity of the rear of the Royal Lancaster Hospital grounds.

DI Phil Jones said: “I have no doubt that the Greet Team security guard’s diligence and the swift response by the police officers foiled what would have been an attempt to rob the guards of a substantial amount of money.

“Thankfully the officer has only sustained slight bruising as a result of the collision with the stolen car. I would appeal to the public who were in the city centre around 10.30am on Friday to contact Lancaster Police on 101.

People with information can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.