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Snow causes major disruption

By Hayley Robinson

The snow finally arrived last night and despite only a couple of inches falling in Sittingbourne, it's caused havoc.

The school holidays started early for hundreds of children after several schools closed this morning due to the treacherous conditions.

Arriva have cancelled all bus services in Swale due to the weather conditions and motorists are being warned not to make unnecessary journeys as some roads are blocked or closed.

Around 1,000 people celebrating a Christmas party at the Kent Showground on Detling Hill were forced to spend the night there after the A249 between Maidstone and Sittingbourne was closed by police at about midnight.

The M2, A2 and M20 were also all badly affected and the Sheppey Crossing was closed due to the weather.

Sittingbourne firefighters have not been out to any major incidents and Kent Fire and Rescue Service has placed operational staff and equipment, including vehicles with off-road capability, on standby to respond to fires and other emergencies.

The public is also being asked to support South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust (SECAmb) by only calling 999 in the event of an emergency and by avoiding non-essential car journeys.

A spokesman said: "Staff are working hard to maintain a responsive service across the region, however difficult conditions on the road mean that some journeys are taking longer than usual and ambulances may not be able to respond as quickly as normal."

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