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My hell trapped in the snow

Blue Bell Hill as snow caused chaos on January 6 2010
Blue Bell Hill as snow caused chaos on January 6 2010

Kent is awash with nightmare-journeys-from-hell stories.

Black Wednesday saw thousands of motorists trapped in their snowbound cars for hours - on journeys that should have taken far less.

Read one story here - as our intrepid reporter Emma Grove describes her near six hour trip through Kent.

As I left Sheppey the snow was coming down really heavily - I've never seen snow settle even though cars are driving on it.

Reporter Emma Grove
Reporter Emma Grove

The Sheppey Crossing and A249 were driveable, although there was so much snow on the road it was impossible to see the markings.

As I approached Stockbury roundabout I had minutes to make my decision -do I risk getting stuck on Detling Hill? Or should I chance the M2?

Surely I'll be fine on the motorway, I thought, so I went on the M2 to come down Bluebell Hill.

It was OK until I joined the back of a queue to come off at the Maidstone junction.

In almost four hours, I moved about two miles.

It was just as bad once I was off the M2 and through the traffic lights.

After half an hour I hadn't moved at all, so I made the decision to walk home.

I pulled off the main road and parked my car safely and set off.

I made a friend immediately - Keith, who was walking home to Barming.

As we walked round to the top of Bluebell Hill, it was easy to see why the traffic was so horrendous.

The journey:

Departure time from Sheerness Times Guardian office: 4.30pm.

Arrival time at home in Maidstone Town Centre: 10.20pm.

Police had apparently been letting one or two cars down at a time, but had then blocked the road off completely and weren't letting anyone down.

As we began the walk down the hill, we could see the road was sheet ice and a gritter was at the end of the queue of cars.

Cars were abandoned both up and down the hill and there were plenty of people who had made the decision to walk.

It took Keith and I about an hour to walk down the hill, and in that time not one car went past us.

As I got to the Running Horse roundabout the situation was just as bad -“ abandoned vehicles everywhere, including two lorries and a bus which looked like they had got stuck trying to get up onto the A229.

I've honestly never seen anything like it - it was utter chaos.

But the nice thing about situations like this is the British spirit - I didn't see anyone angry. Everyone was helping each other out because everyone was in the same boat.

Let's hope there's not too much more to come.

  • Did you have a journey from hell? Can you beat Emma's tale? Tell us your journey distance and time by clicking on the Make a Comment tab below.
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