Schools close early as Kent braced for snow chaos
Frozen branches at the
side of the road in Hythe. Picture: Garry Blackburn
Schools in and around Maidstone are closing early today as the
county prepares for heavy snow and travel disruption.
The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for the
county and forecasters said the white stuff could settle as
deep as 10cm in parts, with strong winds leading to snow
Several schools are sending pupils home early this afternoon
because of the weather.
Among the first to announce closures were Mascalls School,
Paddock Wood, and Edenbridge Primary, Edenbridge. Tonbridge
Grammar School also closed at lunchtime.
Meanwhile, justice froze over at Maidstone Crown Court this
afternoon with no cases being heard after lunch because of the
Commuters were also warned to expect disruption on the roads and
train network as the county battles to keep moving in sub-zero
Keep up-to-date with Kent school
Dozens of gritters have been out in
force as a band of snow is expected to push across
Kent from the west today.
The Met Office's severe weather warning for Kent stretches into
the weekend, with more snow showers likely on Saturday and
widespread ice into Sunday morning.
Rail operator Southeastern said heavy snow and icy weather
conditions were likely to affect train services.
It said trains have so far been running normally this morning
and it is aiming to run a full service all day "weather
A Southeastern spokesman said this morning: "We know the bad
weather is on its way.
"Moderate to heavy snow is expected to fall in the next few
hours and continue through the day.
"We're reliant on Network Rail clearing the tracks and ensuring
points and signals don't freeze up so we can run a train
"Given the weather forecast, there may be disruption on some
routes through the day.
"Our staff will be out working to clear platforms and treat icy
surfaces and Network Rail will be running snow and ice clearance
trains day and night to help keep the network open.
"We're advising all passengers to check before travelling to see
if train times have been altered, allow plenty of extra time and
take extra care on the slippery roads and footpaths."
Kent County Council says it is primed to cope with whatever the
Staff concentrate on clearing primary routes first, which
include access to hospitals, fire stations and other important
facilities while it's snowing or if there are strong winds causing
Once those main roads are clear, staff will work on other
A spokesman said its 60 gritters were out last night, and would
be out again from 4am today.
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