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February 08, 2007

Avoid non–essential journeys

It’s snowing this morning, and has snowed quite a lot overnight (I estimate about two inches, from what I had to scrape off my car this morning). As is traditional in the circumstances, much of the UK’s transport network has ground to a halt. On the plus side, it meant I got a space in the free car park this morning! I don’t usually drive to work at all, but I’m going to Stratford this evening, so needed the car.

Last night, the usual motoring organisations were saying what they always say when significant snow is forecast: “avoid non-essential journeys”. Given it’s a working day, that seems foolish – most people will be out and about anyway, trying to get to work, and public transport will be worse than usual (elsewhere they seem to be able to run trains when it snows, but not in Britain…). What would be better is if they provided advice about driving in the snow: start in 2nd gear not first, leave extra stopping distance, avoid sudden accelleration or braking, etc. Mostly common sense, but it’ll be some time since most UK drivers last drove through any amount of snow, and a reminder would be more use than “don’t bother trying to get to work”!

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