Saturday 20 January 2018

Snow wreaks transport havoc in UK

BRITISH travellers endured another miserable March day with the bitterly cold weather causing havoc on the roads, rail and air and sea journeys.

Kent and Sussex roads were worst hit with many of them blocked or closed and with huge queues building up.

On the railways bad weather in France and Belgium meant Eurostar cancelled its trains for the rest of the day.

There were also cancellations and delays on a number of domestic rail services, particularly in Sussex and Kent.

Jersey Airport was closed all day and UK passengers were delayed by bad weather at European airports.

After hundreds of motorists were trapped overnight in treacherous conditions, many roads in Kent and Sussex remain blocked or impassable.

Kent Police dealt with hundreds of calls from motorists reporting collisions, broken-down vehicles and abandoned cars as drivers were unable to continue their journeys, prompting warnings to only travel if necessary.

West Sussex County Council's gritting team worked continuously yesterday and throughout the night, along with neighbouring authorities.

A spokesman said that in some areas high winds caused drifting, meaning the impact of salting was greatly reduced. Some gritters were unable to salt their usual routes because of obstructions caused by abandoned vehicles and fallen trees.

Sussex Police praised the efforts of scores of volunteers, including 4x4 owners and members of the Red Cross, who turned out to help emergency services. They include police community support officer Christopher Kingswood, a former soldier, who bedded down in a cramped police box because he was unable to get home after hours helping drivers stuck on the A259 and A27.

Elsewhere, the A686 Hartside Pass in Cumbria was closed between Alston and Melmerby because of snow.

In Wales, strong winds led to speed restrictions on the M48 Severn Bridge in Monmouthshire, while in Somerset there were hazardous conditions on Brassknocker Hill in Monkton Combe.

A broken-down vehicle and a car fire led to hold-ups on the M25.

Irish Independent

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