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Drivers warned as weather deteriorates

by Chris Hunter

Snow and ice are continuing to create treacherous driving conditions on the county's roads.

All major routes were this weekend reported as "passable with care" but the Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for widespread icy roads across the region.

Drivers are advised not to make journeys unless strictly necessary.

Police say fog on Blue Bell Hill has led to poor visibility at the Lord Lees Roundabout.

olice are advising people to drive only if absolutely necessary. If you do need to drive, extreme caution is required.

Gritters have been out in force in Maidstone town centre, but in outlying areas motorists and pedestrians have continued to struggle with near-impassable roads.

Prior to today, a Facebook campaign to get KCC to grit pavements in Maidstone had attracted over 1,000 members in just two days.

One man was taken to hospital after a collision between a van and a car on the A26 between Barming and Teston at 4.20pm last night, Thursday January 7. The road was closed while emergency services and recovery vehicles attended, but was repoened by 5.10pm.

Recovery teams were called to Kemsing Lane, Wrotham, at around 5pm last night, where an HGV was reported as stuck.

In Sutton Valence, villagers praised the efforts of a man, not thought to be a council employee, who single-handedly gritted Sutton Valence Hill.

Charles Hook and his family, from Marden, thanked an off duty police officer and several members of the public who helped push their car when they got stuck on Loose Hill on Wednesday January 6.

Council workers clearing snow
Council workers clearing snow

Kent Police’s Force Communications Centre (FCC) say they handled 9,136 calls on Wednesday and Thursday January 6 and 7, mainly due to the heavy snowfall.

The force currently has access to 168 4x4 vehicles which are being used to patrol the roads to ensure no-one is stranded for long periods of time.

Police are advising people to drive only if absolutely necessary. If you do need to drive, extreme caution is required.

For traffic updates check www.kenthighways.gov.uk.

Maidstone council has also urged drivers to take extra care when using the borough's car parks as conditions have not yet improved.

Teams have continued to clear the snow. The lower floors of King Street multi storey car park are undercover, so are being recommended as the best ones to use.

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