Following on from my last article about heated roads the weather shows no signs of improving and our transport system has been badly affected by a modest amount of snowfall and sub zero temperatures. It should be no surprise that our road system grinds to a halt after a snowfall. Our roads are so badly congested even at the best of times that the smallest interruption to the flow of traffic causes chaos. There is no slack in the system to absorb problems like snow or an accident. Even the best laid plans would struggle to deal with the amount of snow that fell in such a short period of time.
What the government now needs to do is investigate what new technologies exist that will keep our roads free of snow and ice. The spreading of salt is too slow an operation as it can take several hours before an affected road is reached by a gritting lorry. What is needed is an instant solution and I have been reading about just a solution. A section of the A2 has been running a trial of a new system designed by Vaisala in Finland. Sensors next to the road can detect the temperature of the road surface and when it drops to zero degrees de-icer is sprayed onto the road from a dispersal system. This winter the trial has gone well apparently but large amounts of snow still need to be moved from the road by a snow plough.
There must be many systems available for keeping our main roads clear of snow and ice which don’t involve a gritting lorry. The sooner that the process starts to find these new systems the better !