What a difference, a day makes!!

  spuds 11:31 03 Feb 2009
Locked

Today the sun is out (in our area!), and all the snow is changing to slush, yet yesterday it was adverse or hazardous, with total disruptions to everyday events and commitments.

Most of our local schools and council services have been closed or cancelled due to yesterday and predictions for today and the rest of the week. Some public transport as also suffered, when others have not. In fact its Chaos.

Yesterday I made a number of attempts to contact public and commercial offices, only to be put on hold (everyone very busy), or not have the telephone answered at all, except possibly by an answer machine, asking me to try later.

This morning I eventually managed to get through to a large insurance company, only to be informed that they could only take name and telephone details "so that someone can call you back". The reason for this, was due (apparently) to lack of staff owing to adverse and hazardous conditions.

I have friends in Canada, who have adverse and hazardous conditions (far worser than the UK I suspect!)on a annual basis, yet this doesn't appear to effect their daily routines. Are we getting to soft or lazy in our ways, or are we just becoming more political correct and health & safety conscious!.

Regarding the health & safety issue, I noticed some of the drivers that ventured out yesterday, had unclear side vision on their vehicles. Perhaps the vehicle manufacturers could consider installing windscreen wipers on them as well?.

  Jim Thing 12:20 03 Feb 2009

The big difference between Canada and here is that the Canadians know for sure that they're going to get hit by an awful lot of snow at roughly the same time each year; they are therefore able to budget for it and are very well equipped to deal with it when it arrives.

Here in UK, by contrast, we may get conditions comparable to the past weekend's 'snow event' once every 10 (15? 20?) years — or we may not. It simply isn't possible to plan and budget effectively in those circumstances; consequently a relatively modest fall of snow is able to bring London and large parts of the country to a virtual standstill while Canadians fall about laughing and think us pathetic.

  hssutton 12:28 03 Feb 2009

No idea where you live spuds, but it's a glorious sunny day where I live on the East Coast of Lincolnshire.

Yesterday we had just a very fine dusting of snow in the morning, with the roads being totally clear, but did get progressively worse in the Wolds. My disabled daughter travelled 13 miles by taxi into the Wolds to a privately run day centre. I was informed mid-day yesterday that the local run council day centre, (2 miles away) which my daughter attends on Tuesdays would be closed.

It would appear that council run operations now close just in case the weather will be bad.

I was on holiday in the Caribbean last winter along with over 100 Canadian school children, as the holiday drew to a close all the children could talk about was getting back to the snow and getting the snowboards out.

  natdoor 13:12 03 Feb 2009

It is obviously unreasonable for us to go to the lengths taken in countries subject to severe winters, such as everyone having a set of winter wheels fitted with winter tyres. But some additional cost-effective measures for public transport may be available. Winter tyres would not seem impractical for London buses, for example. An alternative for them, which I assume would be practical, would be the use of snow chains.

  spuds 12:40 04 Feb 2009

fourm member- Why not bring out the point about lazy and H&S. I seem to read that the H&S was one of the main concerns especially for council's. Even in our local yesterdays evening newspaper, some head-teacher's were expressing doubts about some school closures (staff not being able to get in), when other school's ran as normal. Surprising also was the fact, that some of the school's that closed for 2 days were on the educational inspectorates 'must improve' list.

In my area many parents took their children to the school gates, only to find them locked. This in turn had a knock-on effect, when some parents were unable to arrange immediate childcare, so they to had to 'have the time off', some losing money because they were paid by the hour, and not by a public (you and I) funded monthly salary.

Regarding my tongue in cheek comment about windscreen wipers. I find it very annoying, that 'responsible' people can leave home, start the car engine, put on the heater and windscreen wipers (possibly front and rear) then drive off, with no visible means of seeing from side views. Perhaps laziness before safety comes into bearing here. A speed of 30mph (no consideration) might also help in clearing snow off side windows, saves getting hand cold or wasting valuable time!.

Jim Thing- I agree with your comments about the Canadians fall about laughing and think us pathetic. My friends emigrated many years ago, and every year they did a pilgrimage to see family and friends. Over the years the children refused to visit the UK (found it boring), so this left the adults to carry on the tradition. The last time they made a visit, was when they were stranded in London, because the rail companies had decided that they could not run a service, because the wrong type of snow or was that leaves were on the lines. They just couldn't understand how the UK had deteriorated over the years, mainly due to feeble excuses and poor management. As stated, their patriotism ceased at that moment in time. Even in the EU, some lesser wealthy countries manage to cope and survive under far harsher conditions, winter and summer alike.

hssutton- I live approximately 130 miles from your location, and the sun is once again shining here today, but outside temperature gauge just about freezing point though. It would appear that council run facilities and public services were the worst effected in most areas!.

Regarding the adventures of snowboarding, this also happened in our area, where the conditions and venue allowed this. One of our neighbours mentioned yesterday evening, that their visit to the usual ideal spot, was also frequented by one of her children's teachers and their children!.

natdoor- I remember the days when snow chains were readily available and used. Or people even got out of buses, and gave them a push at certain points of the journey. Bus and vehicle heaters, plus sound and wind sealing were also not the most efficient.

I note that the council's and other road agencies are reporting that salt/sand stock rationing might be needed, as supplies are running out. How many really horrific days have we endured so far!. Modern forecasting equipment and modern day management seems to provide lesser services instead of more or better. In the days of previous 'bad winters' with no modern amenities, everyone seemed to cope very well.

I know my school coped very well, when everyone (and that included staff) walked, biked to school or caught a local bus/tram (very rare, to expensive). Even the caretaker managed to get in earlier, so that he caught light and hand stoke the coal-fired boilers. Many a time, we kids sat in our winter woollies, until the classroom temperatures increased. Even recall putting our quarter of a pint of frozen milk on the radiators, hoping that they had unfrozen before the short break-time had finished.

Considering that 'global warming' is constantly on the experts tongue, I often wonder if preparations are being finalise for that. Or whether we are still in the 'lets form a committee, and discuss this' stage.

Back to the duvet and save all that energy. Or should I take the dog's out for a walk, and think of past times and conditions :O)

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