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Ice, snow, road closures - South East weather round-up

Snow, ice, strong winds and high seas. A perfect storm for parts of the South East today. With trees uprooted, lorries overturned, and some roads closed, it was a difficult start to the day for many.

One of Kent's busiest highways, the A249 that links the M2 and M20, has been closed, causing tailbacks and long diversions for many.

We speak to Carol Valentine from Kent County Council.

Selected images and video courtesy: Antony Clifford; @nickmcgowan181; @Sussexroadspol.

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Commuters hit with third day of Southern strikes

Credit: PA

Services on Southern Railway will be at a standstill again today due to another strike by drivers in the long-running dispute over driver-only trains.

Members of the ASLEF union are striking for the third time this week, severely affecting the company's 300,000 passengers.

Southern is providing 200 buses and coaches to take passengers to nearby stations which link to other rail operators.

Southern are advising passengers not to travel unless it is essential.

Drivers walked out on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week with further strikes planned for 24th, 25th and 27th January.

Motoring agency issues advice on driving in snow and ice

Credit: ITV News Meridian

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is warning motorists to be prepared for driving in snow and icy conditions, with cold weather hitting parts of Great Britain over the coming days.

The agency says, in winter, it’s even more important to check vehicles are well maintained and serviced. It is advising motorists to make sure their vehicle is in good running order, before going on a journey, and to make sure they know what to do if they encounter icy stretches on roads.

Drivers can prepare by planning their journey, including:

  • checking the weather forecast and road conditions
  • considering other routes or types of transport
  • allowing extra time for your journey
  • ensuring that your vehicle is prepared for the journey
  • carrying warm clothing, blankets, hot drinks, a torch, a shovel, and suitable footwear

Drivers should:

  • keep the lights, windows and mirrors clean and free from ice and snow

  • add anti-freeze to the radiator and winter additive to the windscreen washer bottles

  • make sure wipers and lights are in good working order

  • check that tyres have plenty of tread depth and are maintained at the correct pressure

When driving, drivers should:

  • avoid sudden actions as these could cause loss of control

  • use dipped headlights in poor conditions

  • keep well back from the road user in front - stopping distances can be 10 times greater than on dry roads

  • drive at a slow speed in as high a gear as possible; accelerate and brake very gently

  • drive particularly slowly on bends where loss of control is more likely - brake progressively on the straight before you reach a bend

DVSA’s priorities are to help you through a lifetime of safe driving and to help you keep your vehicle safe to drive.

Road conditions can suddenly change during the winter, so being well prepared is vital.

Drivers can help to keep themselves and other road users safe by carrying out basic safety checks and following the advice in The Highway Code about driving in winter weather.”

– Ashley Bateman, DVSA’s Assistant Chief Driving Examiner
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