December 2009 and January 2010 were bad winter months for snow and ice here in the UK. This country can’t cope with transport chaos that snow causes. Our roads are over crowded so that when we do get snow cars grind to a halt. Even our trains don’t seem to like snow and our airports even have to close as well.
We spend millions of pounds on gritting our roads and we lose countless millions more in lost production and time off work because we can’t get to work.
Isn’t it about time that a new solution is found ?
Last year I wrote an article about heated roads. The technology is available and I would have thought that as a long term investment it would be worthwhile considering. The government is to have an enquiry about how local authorities have handled the snow situation I hope they also look at ways of avoiding similar situations in the future.
Sorry, but I just have to write another post about the snow as the subject is still causing headlines on TV and in newspapers here in the UK.
I couldn’t believe that the BBC 10pm news had the snow problems as its main story last night. They had a reporter, wearing wellies, who was standing on a road which had a minor amount of snow on it and behind him was a bank of earth where again there must have been a very slight snow covering. The BBC milked this story for about 10 minutes and I just could not believe that the BBC were spending so much time on such a thing. Here in the north of England we don’t have much snow but when we do we get on with things as best we can. Our buses don’t stop running and we manage to get to work even if we have to walk. When we have heavy snow in the north of England the BBC often don’t even mention it, but it’s a different story when snow descends in the south.
I can understand the BBC reporting that hundreds of schools were closed, because it’s a national scandal that schools were closed for two days. One day would have been enough, but due to the health and safety culture that we have in this country headteachers decided that schools would have to close. This causes big problems for parents who have to take time off work to look after their children. I suspect part of the problem is that the majority of parents like to drive their children to school rather than walk.
When I was at school I can remember that the school playground was on a slope. In winter, when it was icy we used to make the longest ice slides you can imagine. (They seemed long at the time anyway!) We used to have great fun flying down these slides as fast as we could. The teachers didn’t mind at all. These days, however, grit is put down so you can’t slip on the ice. I can remember falling on the ice lots of times and I can’t remember that anybody was badly hurt in the school playground. We used to make them as slippy as possible – because you go faster !
I have just been reading about the winter of 1963. My mum was telling me about it as well. In places the depth of snow was 18 feet in the drifts and temperatures dropped to -16C. The sea froze in places and this freezing weather lasted 3 months. How would the UK have coped with these conditions if they happened now?
I dread to think how we would cope in another Ice Age. 15,000 years ago Europe was covered in ice that was half a mile thick – now that I think would be a reasonable excuse to call off London buses !