UK in Snow Chaos
February 3, 2009barriehol
The commute to the office has been a nightmare these past two days. Snow blizzards one day and black ice under snow the next. At least I made it into work but from the news reports many were either stranded of unable to travel at all.
It never ceases to amaze me how only in the UK does a few inches of snow manage to cause such major disruption particularly when this weather event was so well forecast days in advance. I have been in Michigan in winter with 5 foot of laying snow on the ground and travel was more or less unaffected. Similarly in Sweden which has snow for months in the year the population carry on as normal and transport works.
Is it just that the various authorities from Rail Networks, public transport, local councils and the plethora of National and Government agencies are simply so incompetent as to have no contingency planning, or worse take the view that such events are rare enough not to warrant the investment and costs involved in keeping the country mobile. The best they can do is to try and shift the blame onto us by advising us not to travel unless absolutely necessary – like earning a living isn’t absolutely necessary! Not all of us work for the State – yet.
It was widely reported that on Monday of this week alone the cost of the weather disruption to the UK economy was £1.2 billion. That amount of money would pay for quite a few snow ploughs and gritting wagons.
Maybe they are influenced too much by the Global Warming /environmentalist /Green lobby which tell us our winters are getting warmer with scant regard for the long term evidence. You never hear from these people when the current events clearly do not conform with their predictions i.e. the coldest winter in Europe for 25 years, but give us three days of consecutive sunshine in mid-summer and out they will come with their dire forecasts of imminent global man made catastrophe.
If our leaders aren’t prepared then at least we can be. After the experience of the past two days and the forecast of more of the same to come, I have now taken the current safety advice. My car boot contains a shovel to dig me out of snow drifts, a bag of grit to give the wheels purchase, a warm overcoat and boots if I have to abandon the car, a whistle to draw attention and not least, a bottle of water and a couple of snack bars. Of course a mobile phone also comes in handy.