Snow falling on England

The article below was written in December just before Christmas when Britain was confronted with a rather unannounced cold front that caused serious problems on the roads and public transport, despite rather low precipitation and not even quite freezing temps. Oddly, two weeks later when Britain was hit with serious snow and ice, the problems were much less pronounced than on this remarkable 22. December, when much of  Britain stood still.

Dec 22, 2009 11:39 AM

The British, by this I refer to the general public and its government, once again prove their inherent ability to deal with national crisis, swiftly, smoothly and efficiently.
The overwhelming snowfall of the past 24 hours, up to 1/4″ in higher elevations, combined with nearly, but not quite, frozen slush on the roads would have been a challenge to any northern country, but Britain once again mastered the situation. A normal drive of 50 minutes that, under less organized circumstances, could have easily taken 10 or more hours, now only took 5 hours. The public provided an invaluable service to traffic radio as these seem to get their  information not from dubious traffic helicopters or satellite services but rather from the educated commuter stuck in traffic (a nice feature was that callers could also take the opportunity to discuss latest football scores and vent about local government failings). Through this eyewitness reporting system (whilst driving) many fatalities could surely be avoided and most of the vehicles “stuck in quite high snow” could be pulled to safety by cyclists who had the advantage of much better traction than, for instance, the 4×4 Landrover that was crawling ahead of us at just under 3 miles per hour from Croydon to Crystal Palace.

Thank heavens for the undeterred efforts of the local curry house that was able deliver hot food to our house at 11 pm and thanks to the curry delivery man who braved the elements and parked his car at the bottom of the hill (surely to avoid the slush splashing up onto the side of his car) and walked the rest of the way quite quickly to deliver the food while still hot.

Now of course there is much discussion in todays papers about the lack of gritting trucks being dispatched, but, having some sources in local government we are assured that gritting trucks had been sent out but there had been some issues with “the salty having been washed away by the rain….an unnamed London Borough).

There is no snow today and yesterday’s slush is now a thing of the past but we are staying in another night just to be safe.

Best wishes to everyone this Christmas season.

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~ by vulfin on January 12, 2010.

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