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Snow brings schools and transport to a halt

PUBLISHED: 14:08 04 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:54 11 August 2010

Enjoying the snow outside the Civic Centre

Enjoying the snow outside the Civic Centre

SCHOOLS and workplaces across the borough ground to a halt on Monday as the borough suffered its worst snowfall for 18 years. Every one of the borough s 57 schools was closed with many also shutting their gates yesterday (Tuesday). Roads that are usually

SCHOOLS and workplaces across the borough ground to a halt on Monday as the borough suffered its worst snowfall for 18 years.

Every one of the borough's 57 schools was closed with many also shutting their gates yesterday (Tuesday).

Roads that are usually blocked with school run traffic were instead clogged up with a thick blanket of snow.

Gritters and ploughs were out on the streets around the clock to clear major roads but conditions were still bad enough for Transport for London to suspend all bus services. Trains were still running but with severe delays.

From Sunday night to Monday morning 190 tonnes of grit had been laid on the roads by the 30-strong gritting team. Street cleaners were also laying salt by hand.

Some drivers braved the roads while others took to the streets and walked miles to get into work.

A number of shops in Barking Town Centre could not open - others traded with skeleton staff.

Amanda Wilson, assistant manager of Bonmarche in East Street, managed to get a lift to work but her boss was not so lucky.

She said: "Our manager Wendy had to walk in from Becontree this morning because there were no buses or trains.

"She had her snow boots on and everything. Two other girls who work here couldn't make it because of the snow."

In the parks schoolchildren made the most of their unexpected day off with impromptu snowball fights and snowman building.

The council abandoned all refuse collections and parking restrictions and the adult social services team were only dealing with emergency calls on Monday.

At Barking Magistrates' Court most hearings were adjourned because defendants, solicitors and court staff were struggling to get in.

Court employee, Adam Clough, had to walk into work from Upney. He said: "Several defendants have called to say they can't make their appearances because of the weather.


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