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Maidenbower man arrested and named after armed robbery in Three Bridges

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Police officers were on scene within minutes after a report that a man had entered Corals betting shop in Gales Drive, Crawley, on Thursday evening (16 January) and threatened staff with a hatchet while demanding cash from the safe. 

The man was quickly apprehended and some £200 secured before he was able to leave the premises. 

Joseph Ronald Cocks, 29, unemployed, of Shoreham Road, Maidenbower, Crawley, was arrested on suspicion of robbery and charged with the offence.

He is due to appear before local magistrates this morning.

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BREAKING NEWS: Hard shoulder could return to M23

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In a shocking turn a meeting with the Transport Secretary Grant Shapp with Crawley’s MP Henry Smith has revealed that the proposed new ‘Smart Motorway’ could be reverted back to a three lane plus hard shoulder one.

Meeting with the Transport Secretary and the Roads Minister Baroness Vere, Mr Smith expressed his concerns over the safety and construction period disruptions occuring on the M23.

It comes only a week after the Crawley MP raised the issue in the House Of Commons.

But in a meeting today the Transport Secretary revealed that an urgent review which is currently being undertaken could lead to the reinstatement of the hard shoulder along the M23.

Mr Smith said:

“I was pleased to hear the Transport Secretary give assurances that the works on the M23 will be expedited so there will not be another six month delay. I was also assured that the ongoing works will also take account of the review and if that means reinstating the hard shoulder or adding extra refuges and signage I would support it.”

Speaking exclusively to CN24 Mr Smith said that he had been assured that a decision on Smart Motorways would be made before the M23 works finished allowing whatever decision made on them to be implemented straight away.

The news will have a mixed reaction to the many commuters who use the M23 every day and have had to endure long queues.

But if the hard shoulder returns it will open new questions over the huge expense that many will see having been a waste of money.

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