Snowfalls cause revised Southeastern services
Kent's set for another night of bone-chilling temperatures - as
the mercury is predicted to hit -6C tonight.
It follows an arduous day for commuters and drivers alike, with
roads hazardous and the rail system on a go-slow in many areas.
Southeastern today invited passengers to apply for compensation
after some train services ground to a halt after the snow.
Services across the network were delayed or cancelled as Network
Rail battled to clear lines.
After 30 minutes' delay Southeastern's pay-delay compensation
scheme kicks in.
Some passengers faced delays of up to an hour and a half to
reach their destinations.
Among the worst hit was the service between Sittingbourne
and Sheerness, where replacement buses were put on.
Families have fun in the
snow on the Isle of Sheppey
A spokesman said: “Despite Network Rail’s best efforts overnight
to clear the tracks, ice on the conductor rail is causing problems
for services on some routes.
"We’re dependent on the rails being cleared to run a train
service for customers. We apologise to anyone caught up in delays
and thank them for their patience”
Additional Southeastern staff have been helping to clear snow from
platforms and stairs at stations.
Walkers brave the icy
conditions in snowbound Folkestone
A fox eyes up a
'playmate' in Hythe
Kent Police said officers have
responded to a string of complaints about snowball-throwing
In the most shocking
case, snowballs were thrown at moving vehicles on
the M20, between junctions 9 and 10, at about
Officers warned a group of youths
throwing snowballs at a man they did not know in King Street,
Maidstone, on Friday evening.
And, in Margate, two boys were
made to clean snow and eggs from the window of a shop they had
pelted them at on Saturday afternoon.
Ch Insp Matthew Kendall said: "I'd
urge people having fun in the snow to stay safe and to avoid
throwing snowballs at strangers, vehicles, or people's homes.
"Without wishing to spoil anyone's
fun, it may be worth remembering that not everyone loves this
weather so if you are throwing snowballs please be considerate of
others and their property."
Meanwhile, two people were warned
after police were called to cars towing people on a sledge in
Rainham. Officers also fined motorists for doing handbrake turns in
a Hempstead car park.
Mr Kendall added: "Such behaviour is dangerous and not only risks
injury to the drivers, but to members of the public too."
A snowman keeps guard at
Horses grazing at
Beechenlea Lane, Swanley
Meanwhile, around 200 schools were closed across Kent and
Medway, with youngsters set to make the most of the big freeze to
build snowmen and throw snowballs.
Hardest hit were Dover and Maidstone, with more than 20 schools
closed in each area.
Southeastern advised passengers to
check how trains are running before leaving home, and to leave
extra time for their journeys.
Commuters at Strood station this morning had mixed reviews of
their start to the day.
Thomas Javanda, 23, Castle View, Strood: "I had to walk to the
station instead of driving – a 15-minute, walk not much
Patsy Hayward, 20, of High Halstow: "My brother had to get a bus
from Bromley South to Kent last night. He got in at 2am after
leaving at 9am."
Clive Holly, 62, Lower Road, Teynham: "They’ve done a good job
so far, far fewer people on the train."
A wintry Leybourne Lakes in Snodland
One lonely traveller
waits for a train at Ebbsfleet station
On the roads, part of the M20 was at a standstill this
morning after a six-vehicle
Kent Police urged motorists to take extra care - and clear snow
and ice before setting off so it does not slip onto the
It comes after a day of prolonged snowfall yesterday across
Forecasters are predicting further sleet or snow showers in
parts of the region - mostly away from the coast.
Temperatures in the county could plummet to -6C.
Experts are warning drivers not to make any unnecessary
Gritters have been out in force overnight and earlier today, but
some roads were said to be hazardous.
Bin collections in Swale and Thanet were suspended due to the
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