Commuters tell stories of nightmare journeys home from Bath
Commuters in Bath have described their nightmare journeys home after snow brought the city to a standstill.
Shop worker Mike Smith was forced to walk seven miles in the snow to his home in Radstock last night after his bus became stranded.
The 21-year-old, who works in Build A Bear in SouthGate, made the three-and-a-half hour trek after the bus he was travelling on was terminated at Odd Down more than an hour after it left the city centre.
He said: “It was like a scene out of the film The Day After Tomorrow
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“The driver said we couldn’t go any further and the only option was to walk and a group of 20 of us got out and did just that.”
Mr Smith got on the 184 bus to Radstock at Bath Bus Station at 6.35pm and eventually arrived home at 11.30pm.
He said: “The fact that there was no real pavement, the cars had no real control, there was a ridiculous number of abandoned vehicles and there was not proper lighting - it wasn’t pleasant and not something I want to repeat.”
He added: “The worst part was there was no warning. I checked the buses before I left work and we were told everything was running. I get on the bus, go on Twitter and suddenly Dunkerton Hill is closed.”
Husband and wife Bob and Sharon Smith, from Peasedown St John, also faced an ordeal trying to get home on Tuesday.
Mr Smith, 65 and a taxi driver for VCars, took three hours to get home after five attempts to leave the city.
He said: “I tried Wellsway, Ralph Allen Drive, Oldfield Park, I even went out to The Globe at Newton St Loe and in the end I went out to Limpley Stoke - it was a nightmare but I made it.”
He added: “It was horrendous. All the years I have been driving I’ve never seen anything like it. I was so relieved to get home I thought I was going to have to sleep in the car.
“It was appalling. I even turned the radio off in the car because I had to focus so much.”
Mrs Smith, 53, was forced to abandon her car near the Odd Down Park and Ride and walk two-and-a-half miles in the snow to get home.
Her journey, which should have taken no more than half an hour, lasted four hours.
Mr Smith said: “Apparently when my wife gave up and walked there was a bus on Dunkerton Hill that had just parked up and was causing chaos, and two first response vehicles were stopping cars from going down the hill until a gritter arrived. All the traffic was backed up.”
Web editor Justin Owen left work at the University of Bath at around 6pm intending to get a bus home, but ended up walking down Bathwick Hill because services were suspended.
When he saw the amount of motorists having trouble, the 38-year-old, who lives in Henrietta Street, spent a couple of hours helping move cars to the side of the road.
He said: “It was just sheet ice. We were using things like cones and recycling bin lids to scrape the snow and ice off the road to make tracks for the cars to move to the pavement.”
Mr Owen was helped by a university student called Rob, who had an exam today, and a Prior Park College pupil called Callum, who was working in his school uniform and coat.
He said most people were leaving their cars and trying to make their way on foot, including an elderly man in his 80s, who, with their assistance, managed to walk to a friend’s house at the bottom of the hill.
Council worker Tom Wannell, who lives in Oldfield Park, was called to assist his partner James Henderson, who had spun onto the pavement in the icy conditions in Bloomfield Road.
The 26-year-old then spent a couple of hours working with a group of passers-by and helping motorists who had got stuck.
He said: “It was really nice to see so many strangers helping others out of the kindness of their hearts. It was really quite scary out there at times, so I want to thank everyone who was there and helping out.
“It was such a heart-warming sight to see all these people coming together.”