Snowfall across Kent causes further disruption

Lorries on the M20 near Ashford, Kent
Image caption Lorries have been waiting on the M20 following Kent Police's decision to implement Operation Stack

More snow has caused another day of disruption to the road and rail network across Kent.

Many schools closed for a second day after about six inches (15cm) of snow fell overnight and up to 10 inches (10cm) fell throughout the day.

Kent Police said driving conditions were "extremely dangerous" and have urged motorists to avoid the M20.

Southeastern Trains is running a limited timetable while Southern Trains has suspended all services in Kent.

About 300 schools across the county were shut because of the weather conditions.

Police said Operation Stack had been implemented, under which lorries waiting to cross the Channel on ferries park on the M20.

The New Sheppey Crossing which was shut earlier in the day has now reopened.

'Significant delays'

Motorists also experienced heavy delays on the M25. Kent Police advised all motorists not to travel unless their journey was absolutely necessary.

Insp Paul Sellwood said: "The driving conditions across the county are extremely dangerous and many roads are impassable due to the snow.

Image caption A man walks through the snow in Great Chart near Ashford as the bad weather continues

"My advice is that people should only make journeys which are absolutely essential, and to be fully prepared for that journey.

"If you are setting off this morning, ensure you have warm clothing, blankets, and food and drink with you. There will be significant delays and disruption."

Both the Port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel were kept open but motorists were asked to contact operators to avoid delays.

Eurostar, which operates between London and Paris and Brussels, is running a limited service with delays of up to 90 minutes.

A spokesman for Southeastern said: "Services on our network are extremely limited at this time.

'Worst behind us'

"Our services will continue to be affected by the snow and ice which is forecast to continue for the rest of the week."

Trains are running into London from Dover, Ashford and Gillingham.

There are also services between Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Ashford, and Dover and Ramsgate.

Image caption Deer in Knowle Park, Kent

Arriva said its bus services were suspended in most of Kent.

South East Coast Ambulance Service said its staff were severely hampered by the snowy conditions.

Director of operations Sue Harris said: "We are now focusing our efforts on getting to those patients who need us the most."

All waste and recycling collection services have been suspended in Medway and the council's three household waste sites have closed.

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

BBC South East Today's weather forecaster Kaye Forster said: "It looks like the worst is behind us now.

"A few flurries continuing this evening, but it won't amount to much more.

"They will become confined to the east coast and will eventually die away by the end of the night."

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