Drivers stranded on motorways as snow hits Kent and Sussex
Hundreds of drivers were stranded in their vehicles overnight as snow and sub-zero temperatures made many roads impassable.
Motorists were stuck for hours in long holdups on the A23 in Kent and on the M23 in Sussex, as temperatures plummeted to -3C.
There were reports of drivers stuck for more than 10 hours in queues of up to 30 miles long. Many abandoned their vehicles for service stations.
Police, snow ploughs and gritting lorries battled to treat the roads, and members of the Red Cross were out in force to help commuters and hand out food to those who had been stuck in their cars for hours.
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The A23 between Crawley and Kent was at a standstill, along with the M23, A26, A27 and A29, after 10cm of snow fell. Areas around Dover and Folkestone were also badly hit, with delays on the M20 as lorries queued trying to get into the Channel Tunnel.
More than 100 people were stuck for more than four hours on the A2 at Lydden near Dover after a lorry jack-knifed, Kent Police said, leading to a build-up of snow drifts up to a metre high.
One motorist captured on video the treacherous driving conditions between Deal and Dover last night:
Motorist Jonathan Lara took eight hours to travel less than eight miles after leaving work at Gatwick airport to go home to Brighton last night, the BBC reported.
And the weather continues to cause havoc this morning. Schools across Sussex, Kent and the Channel Islands are closed as conditions remain too treacherous for teachers and pupils to travel.
Rail services are expected to face delays, and Southern has warned services from Brighton and Eastbourne could be cancelled.
Meanwhile cross-Channel Eurostar train services are disrupted with severe delays due to bad weather in northern France.
Gatwick Airport is warning people to allow extra time for their journeys due to the problems on the roads, and Guernsey and Jersey Airports are shut due to snow. Some 10cm of snow has fallen on the runway in Guernsey.
But temperatures are expected to rise today - Chris Burton, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, said while there would be snow flurries mid-morning, sunny spells are expected for the rest of the day.
Twitter users have been discussing the weather today: User @Missavoo wrote: “Omg! Snow in Kent is still blizzard like!! #SNOWDAY !!!! WHOOP! (But working from home!!) xx”.
Meanwhile @Kate_WCRFUK said: “Serious snow in Kent this morning but nothing in London. Quite impressed that#Southeastern has kept trains running”.
And @Hotdesigner said: “So weird going from Medway in Kent where roads are dodgy from the snow to going through Hither Green where there is no snow at all!”
Meanwhile @RadioMikeHill wrote: “Blizzard and drifting snow in Kent. 25 minutes later, bright sunshine in London.#Polar #Opposites”.