West Sussex County Council has thanked drivers for their patience after last night’s severe problems on roads across the county and the south-east.
The county’s gritting fleet were working continuously yesterday and throughout the night, as were neighbouring authorities.
But, in some areas high winds caused drifting which meant the impact of salting was greatly reduced and some drivers were caught out by sudden unexpected bands of snow across the road in front of them.
There were also several cases where gritters were unable to follow their usual routes because of abandoned vehicles, and stationary cars. Fallen trees were also an issue along the A283 at Stopham and Fittleworth which had to be closed.
Pieter Montyn, West Sussex Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “It was a very difficult and frustrating night for drivers, and we fully appreciate the problems they faced.
“I want to assure people that our crews were doing all they could, but the winds and drifting have led to many incidents on the network which have had a knock on effect creating gridlock across the whole of the County and the South East which has then impacted upon gritting operations.
“The particular problems the Highway’s Agency faced on its A23 also had a knock-on effect which quickly impacted on the whole of that heavily used corridor.
“I want to re-assure people that our gritters will be working continuously while this severe weather continues.
“Our advice in the meantime is only drive if your journey is really essential and to take great care.”