Where were the gritters?

Pett car
Pett car

FURIOUS drivers are demanding to know why they were left to fend for themselves in the freak weather that battered our towns on Mad Monday.

Hundreds of motorists were left stranded in scenes of chaos never witnessed before.

The roads across the region were turned into an ice rink as the unseasonal wintry blast reduced Hastings and St Leonards to a giant car park.

From Rye to Bexhill and the seafront to The Ridge, frustrated motorists were left stuck on roads, many fearing how they would get home for the night.

As the temperatures plunged to minus four, many drivers were forced to endure journeys of several hours in the dark which would normally take just a few minutes.

And as the snow continued to fall throughout the day, many people started to ask where were the gritters, emergency service and highway patrols.

Just three gritters were reported to have been sighted in the early afternoon in Pevensey Road, The Ridge and St Helens Road.

Questions are being asked about preparation of the roads and was enough done to prevent the gridlock.

Across Sussex people endured major difficulties but in hilly Hastings, motorists bore the brunt of the worst driving conditions.

Simon Williams, spokesman for the RAC, said:

“The Highways Agency should be gritting in advance and there needs to be snow ploughs available to clear heavy snow like this.

“We had 60 calls for help in the Hastings area, that’s three times that of a normal day.

“We warn people that during the winter they should always carry winter clothing, piece of old carpet, shovel and hot drink. The winter weather can catch you out at any time.”

The county council said it had spent 36 hours gritting roads across the county.

Roger Williams, head of highways at East Sussex County Council, said: “A combination of a big dump of snow falling in a short space of time and heavy slow-moving rush-hour traffic means grit isn’t able to do its job as effectively. Once traffic is queuing, gritters struggle to reach the problem areas.

“Our gritters were out again on all routes on Tuesday.” But that was too late for many... See pages 3,4,& 5 for full story.