Kent

Snow closes Kent schools and causes traffic disruption

M20 at Farningham
Image caption Road and rail networks across north Kent were badly affected by the wintry weather conditions

More than 100 schools have been closed in Kent after the snowy weather spread to the county.

Up to six inches (15cm) fell in some areas with the Medway towns among the worst affected.

Kent Police said a number of vehicles had become stuck in snow in the Dartford and Gravesend area.

A spokesman said vehicles had also been abandoned or become stuck near the Darenth Interchange and there were delays of up to three hours.

Broken down vehicles have also been reported in East Hill and West Hill.

A woman who was nine months pregnant had to be rescued by emergency services after her car hit an electricity pylon and ended up in a field between Wye and Hinxhill, near Ashford.

Kent Police said she did not go into labour but was taken to the William Harvey Hospital by ambulance with back and neck pains.

The force has advised motorists to take care in the icy conditions.

Ch Insp Andy Reeves said: "Ensure you have warm clothing and food and drink supplies with you.

Widespread snowfall

"If the weather is severe, then only travel if your journey is absolutely necessary."

Kent County Council said it was "making every effort" to salt secondary roads in the north of the county but broken down and abandoned vehicles had delayed the process.

Earlier, nearly 100 commuters travelling from central London to Ashford in Kent were stranded on a Southeastern train for more than two hours.

The 2307 GMT service from London Victoria on Monday became stuck between Borough Green and and West Malling before being towed to safety by another train.

On Tuesday, Southeastern said train services between Ramsgate and Ashford International faced disruption.

Image caption The Met Office said the snow was expected to ease by early afternoon on Wednesday

The poor conditions have also affected rail services between Dover Priory and Ramsgate.

Freight services were temporarily suspended on Eurotunnel at Folkestone but tourist traffic remained unaffected.

Medway Council said gritting lorries had worked through the night to keep roads clear and all primary and secondary routes remained passable.

The UK has been experiencing the earliest widespread snowfall since 1993.

The Met Office said snow would become heavy at times overnight in the South East but is expected to ease by early afternoon on Wednesday.

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