A novel dining experience is being offered at the American themed Grand Central restaurant in Chelmsford, Essex.

According to the Daily Express, owners Steve and Jo Haslam have offered to cut the bill of people who eat there – if they surrender their mobile phones!

On "phone-free Friday"customers will receive 10 per cent off their bill if they surrender their phones on arrival.

Manager Chelsea Day said: “It all just started because Steve was sitting in the restaurant eating dinner with his family and saw most of the other diners, mainly couples, on their phones.

”He was thinking about how we can get people to communicate more and that's when we came up with phone-free Fridays.

“It's been absolutely great, it's a fantastic idea and has made a huge difference to the restaurant- the customers love it.”

People who live in cities would back their taxes being spent on building cycle lanes, according to a study outlined in The Guardian.

Cycling and walking advocacy group Sustrans found that although just six per cent of people commute to work by bike, 75 per cent would like to see more money spent on cycling infrastructure and 78 per cent support building more protected bike lanes, even if this could mean less space for other road traffic.

The charity surveyed more than 1,000 people in Newcastle, Cardiff, Belfast, Bristol, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Greater Manchester.

Xavier Brice, Sustrans chief executive, commented: “People riding bikes played a crucial role in our past and will play an important role in our future. Cycling will shape how we get about in our towns and cities. It’s good for our health, for air quality, for the local economy, and for making our streets more liveable.”

Funds are needed to secure the future of the world's oldest single-span cast-iron bridge, reports The Guardian.

The paper says that the Iron Bridge in Shropshire which crosses the River Severn was built in 1179 but the first cracks appeared within three years.

It has confounded experts by surviving everything weather, floods and geology could fling at it for almost 250 years, while other Severn bridges were repeatedly washed away.

But now English Heritage has launched a crowdfunding appeal to raise £3.56m to secure its future.

Paul Hayes, from Hardwick, Oxfordshire, has paid £4,750 to buy back a motorbike he sold for £75 as a teenager nearly 50 years.

An article in the Daily Express says that Paul was stunned when he stumbled across the AJS model 31 which was once his pride and joy up for sale on e-Bay.

A friend alerted him to the sale of “a bike like yours” and when Paul phoned he realised it was the same one he had sold back in 1969.

Paul said: “ I'm over the moon to have it back. It's put a spring in my step, let's put it that way.”

The Daily Mirror pays tribute to Mali, a Belgian Malinois dog which has been awarded the 'animal VC' for courage in battle.

The dog sniffed out insurgents and bombs under heavy fire as British Special Boat Service and Afghan forces raided a Taliban-held hotel in Kabul.

The Mirror reports that footage from the battle in 2012 shows Mali staying calm as commandos scaled an outside wall and hauled him up several floors to bring him into action.

Unfortunately the dog suffered severe blast wounds and is later seen being carried away by his handler.

He retired from frontline duties after lengthy treatment but is still involved in training.

Mali has been honoured with a PDSA Dickin Medal – the animal equivalent to the Victoria Cross – on the charity’s centenary.

His citation reads: “Mali displayed outstanding courage in the face of fire and there is no doubt that his actions throughout the operation were pivotal in breaking an enemy stronghold.”

Reference list:
The Express (www.express.co.uk)

The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

Daily Mirror (www.mirror.co.uk)