THE editorial comments and stories concerning the recent snow were interesting.
I have no axe to grind, being one of the lucky folk who can still get to work – basically because I work from home – but would like to put up a bit of defence for the people who can’t / won’t (depending on your point of view) get the car out, or wait for the, quite possibly cancelled, train when the temperature drops and the flakes fall.
Comparing southern England to Canada or Scandinavia is not really helpful. Yes, the doughty Norwegians will be out and about in their cars, as usual, and the hardy folks in Canada certainly dig away the 12-foot drifts and get cracking, indeed our friend Rick (UK born and bred) continues delivering 18-wheeler loads to superstores in Quebec and Ontario on all but the very worst winter days.
But the Scandinavians spiked tyres, if fitted in October in the UK, would be worn spikeless in a week, with either no snow, or 10mm of it, and in Canada, northern USA or Russia, the comparatively empty roads and wide open spaces make a traffic accident before you’ve got to the end of your street a lot less likely than it is here in hilly, un-snowploughed, Hastings, with cars parked either side of every narrow road, inviting an impact and consequent loss of no-claims discount even if the accident does occur at less than 5mph.
Our county highways gangs do a pretty good job of gritting or clearing main roads, but that’s all. To use a main road, you first have to get to it! Furthermore many large firms and hospitals with car parks don’t make and effort to have them cleared or de-iced enough to be useable, if staff or customers do arrive.
Maybe a few people use snow as an excuse to skive off work, but I rather suspect that these days any possible loss of earnings rules it out for most.