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What's your verdict on Medway's gritting efforts?

A driver struggles up Star Hill, Rochester
A driver struggles up Star Hill, Rochester

Chaos descended on Medway as heavy snow paralysed roads when the big freeze returned with a vengeance at the weekend.

Motorists struggled on treacherous roads after six inches of snow fell on the Towns in less than an hour on what is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year.

Traffic ground to a halt in a whitemare before Christmas at about 12.30pm on Saturday – the penultimate day of Rochester’s inaugural Christmas market.

Medway Council said it did all it could to keep people moving - but what's your verdict? Cast your vote below (the per centage of voters is shown by the light coloured bar).

The Arctic conditions wrecked festive travel arrangements and shopping expeditions.

Sixteen roads were impassable as drivers were forced to abandon cars while many A-roads were blocked by vehicles stuck in the slush.

In one incident, an Asda lorry failed repeated attempts to climb the A2 London Road, in Rainham, causing long tailbacks in both directions.

Steve Kennard and Rob Baker cleared Hempstead Road of snow and ice themselves.
Steve Kennard and Rob Baker cleared Hempstead Road of snow and ice themselves.

Residents even took to clearing ice and snow from roads and pavements themselves.

Geoffrey Green, who owns Cafe Sinatra in the Pentagon Centre, Chatham, was furious over the gridlock his staff and customers faced.

He said: “People just could not get home – it was pathetic. I had staff forced to walk home."

Hempstead Valley shopping centre manager Mark Rumfitt said about 100 people abandoned vehicles in its car park.

He said: “We had a rush of people trying to get home, but generally the drivers were tremendous and – despite the queues – people were being very patient.”

Medway Council said gritters were out from Friday afternoon on primary routes and throughout the weekend.

On Sunday morning, crews moved onto secondary routes, while an extra 25 staff hand-salted high streets, outside hospitals and medical centres.

JCB diggers were also used to clear snow from town centre car parks and all Medway’s salt bins were due to be replenished by today (Monday).

On Sunday, shopping centres across the Towns opened as normal to the Christmas crowds.

Southeastern is now running a normal timetable, but advised travellers to check ahead in case of unforseen delays.

Most bus services were operating in the Medway Towns on Tuesday. Nu-Venture's number 151 is staying to the main road between Cuxton and the M20.

Arriva said the number 164 has had to be diverted in the White Road area because of slippery roads and is using Magpie Hall Road and Kitchener Avenue to get to Chatham Grove.

The number 179 is only operating as far as Walderslade village because of problems in Tunbury Avenue and the Alexandra Hospital.

Leave your experiences coping with the snow below and send your pictures to medwaymessenger@thekmgroup.co.uk.

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