Cold weather disrupts transport
Published 12/03/2013 | 06:11
Travellers have 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.
Five hundred passengers on an Irish Ferries sailing, including around 300 French students, were finally able to dock at the fifth attempt at Cherbourg in France. They spent almost 20 hours at sea and arrived at their destination almost 24 hours late.
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 on Monday 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.