Roddy Graham's Blog: 7 January 2010 - Snow management
07 January 2010
Roddy Graham is chairman of the ICFM and commercial director of Leasedrive Velo
We're heading for the worst winter in 30 years and it shows as UK plc is frozen in a white out. Whole swathes of the country are impassable, numerous schools are closed and many workers have had to stay at home.
Salt and grit shortages are nationwide and gas is even in short supply. Now that's not what I call a good start to the New Year.
Unusually before Christmas, many parts of the country came to a halt when unforeseen snow caused grid-lock. My neck of the woods was particularly badly hit. It took me longer to cover the 20-minute journey home than it had done to drive down from Glasgow to Wokingham the previous Sunday!
Those living in the countryside are worst hit as priority is given to keeping motorways and major A-roads free. Apparently, the Government has forbidden councils from replenishing roadside grit boxes in order to keep the main road arteries of the country flowing. So people who don't get their roads salted or gritted don't even have the chance of doing it themselves!
They are well and truly stuck at home.
Why the sudden change in weather?
Last winter was bad and this winter is even worse. Some may say it is due to climate change but if I recall rightly we were supposed to have wetter not colder winters in this country. Whatever the reason, economically we cannot afford to standstill. We need to keep on the move to get the country back on its feet.
Government needs to look at what some of our fellow EU members do by way of contingency planning for colder winters. Like wet leaves on the line, we cannot use snowfall as an excuse not to work or study.
Meanwhile, those that managed to get to work or school will no doubt go home early, and do so with a struggle.
When the snow eventually does thaw, it will reveal even more pot-holed roads than we have been suffering before.
While Saab used car values may be plummeting due to the manufacturer's imminent closure, despite the marque being designed for far colder winters, you can be sure that if Government and councils don't start getting their acts together, sales of four-wheel-drive vehicles will start to climb. And that can't be good for the environment either!