Heavy snows hits Sussex but no Gatwick flights cancelled

Jack-knifed lorry in Crowborough
Image caption Traffic was delayed through Crowborough after a lorry jack-knifed

Heavy snow swept across much of Sussex bringing travel disruption and power cuts.

Gritters were out in force, but Sussex Police advised motorists to only drive if absolutely necessary.

The operators of Gatwick Airport said 8cm (3.1in) of snow fell, but all scheduled flights departed and arrived without any cancellations.

Snow caused problems to electricity supplies in Hove and Warninglid, with residents reporting power cuts.

Train services across Sussex were disrupted with some services cancelled and others facing severe delays.

Southern rail said journey times had increased by up to 30 minutes.

Homeless shelter

Sussex Police said East Sussex was hit harder with snow than West Sussex but a spokesman said there had been no problems.

Gatwick remained open on Sunday and was operating a full schedule of flights, though passengers were warned to check with their airlines before travel as they may have faced disruption.

The airport invested £8m in snow and ice clearance fleets after last winter. The airport's chaplain, Father Jonathan Baldwin, who is trained to use a snow plough, slept in Gatwick on standby.

Image caption Residents in Haywards Heath, Sussex, awoke to find about 8cm (3.1in) of snow.

A spokesman for UK Power Networks said engineers were working as quickly and as safely as possible to restore power in Warninglid, where 89 homes were without power.

He said about 50 homes in Hove were also without electricity.

'Vulnerable neighbours'

"The power interruption [in Warninglid] was caused by a fault on an overhead high-voltage cable at 02.23 GMT this morning," he said.

"We understand how frustrating it is to be without electricity, especially during the cold weather, and we apologise for any inconvenience caused."

Traffic was brought nearly to a standstill in Crowborough, East Sussex, after a lorry jack-knifed and blocked traffic on the Tunbridge Wells to Uckfield road.

In Brighton an emergency homeless shelter had opened and the city council has urged people to check on vulnerable neighbours.

The council said its outreach team worked to make contact with as many homeless people as possible.

Many events have been cancelled across Sussex, including a wedding fair at Brighton and Hove Albion's Amex Stadium on Sunday.

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