4x4 FOR ROD
March 12 2013.
I drove into work in Eastbourne yesterday, passing an accident outside East Dean, spending 55 minutes waiting in queue to get off Beachy Head before taking the "seafront" road down. All in all it took me just over two hours. The roads did not appear to have been gritted. I'm not sure what the authorities need to go out and grit the roads, but clearly getting weather reports of imminent harsh conditions doesn't count.
Driving home was a bigger nightmare. Roads were even worse, having thawed slightly and then refrozen with more snow on top.
My thanks to a concerned 4x4 driver who stopped to help, even though I didn't need it, and to the Environment Agency, PCSO's and other volunteers helping people get up the hill into Seaford when I did. I got a few scratches to the car, but avoided serious collisions.
Winter tyres might have helped. Certainly I wasn't going anywhere fast, even in Seaford. It's amazing what slight inclines can put a stop to progress in these conditions. No thanks to a driver who yelled that I should be in a lower gear. What? Lower than first?) - Reverse might have done it. Evetually, after two and a half hours I made it home.
The A23 was worse - drivers took ten to 12 hours to get anywhere. Those roads didn't look gritted either, but, according to the TV, yes they had been. Really? Someone else suggested to me that they hadn't gritted them in the conditions we had because, with the wind chill factors, salt doesnt work. Well, whether it does or not, a bit more of a rough surface might have helped get a grip where I and hundreds of others didn't have any.
It's in conditions like these that you appreciate the value of a 4x4 - especially when you no longer have one. Perhaps all cars should have all wheel drive.
In the meantime, to echo Steve's comments - Wheres the grit?