Big effort helps beat snow chaos

HEAVY snow caused chaos in Rye on Sunday.

Cars were abandoned on Rye hill and the town’s transport system ground to a halt.

But careful planning helped beat the big freeze and the town was back on its feet again this week.

Local councillors took to the street armed with snow shovels and wheelbarrows of salt and grit to clear pavements and walkways of ice as part of the Town Council’s Cold Weather Plan.

And commuters were able to get to work on Monday morning with replacement rail buses getting through and no delays or cancellations reported.

Cllr Granville Bantick said: “The snow clearing operation seemed to work well, we were certainly a lot better prepared than the last time Rye was hit by snow.”

There were some problems at Tilling Green where residents claimed the county council had overlooked them in clearing and gritting roads.

Pam Beeching said: “They have done nothing at all for us on the estate, the conditions are treacherous and a lot of older people have not been able to go out to get their shopping.”

There was an extra holiday for some youngsters with schools closing on Monday, including Rye College, and primary schools at Guestling and Northiam.

St Michael’s Primary School at Playden remained closed on Wednesday.

Stuart Harland, chairman of Rye rail action group Marshlink, said: “Southern have told me that services have run with no reported problems since Monday and the roads are now relatively clear.

“Speaking to a commuter using the bus replacement service, the buses seem to have coped with the bad weather very well indeed so far and he had not experienced any delays or cancellations at all - Southern are to be congratulated for that at least.

Councillors won praise for local people for their efforts. Resident Dilys Mayor said: “I think the shopkeepers, visitors to Rye trapped here by the snow and towns-people like me who had to get around, owe them an enormous debt of gratitude.”

Mike Boyd, from Iden, said: “These days, when it is fashionable to knock our elected representatives , it is good to see some of them helping the communities that elected them.”