The weather forecast for the UK over the next few days promises snow, wind, ice and even a few spots of thunder.
The UK has reacted by closing some bridges to vehicles or just high sided ones and cancelling or delaying flights.
Every time this happens, people are quick with the meme’s depicting 8 foot snow drifts with the slogan “Meanwhile, in Canada”. I think the simple answer to our lack of infrastructure is that we’re simply not used to it.
We’re not used to prolonged and heavy snow, guaranteed each year.
Because serious and severe snow fall is actually a lot rarer than you might think in most of Britain, we tend not to invest in ways of tackling it to the extent of other nations that get arctic blasts each year.
We have a mild and temperate climate in the UK, with only our extreme north or our higher ground likely to get snow each year.
I am by no means an expert, nor have I researched this – it is just my own personal observations. I can count on one hand how many times in my lifetime snow has been so bad it shut everything down (and I am in my mid-thirties).
Although we have snow plows and gritters, we don’t have the type of fleet or equipment other snowier nations have. It wouldn’t make huge financial sense for us to invest to that extent. It is terribly variable, the chance of getting snow, so why would a nation invest huge amounts of money on plows and the like, when it may not even snow?
These plows and gritters need maintaining and that costs money and if we are only using them for 2-3 weeks, maybe, then it just doesn’t add up.
So, we struggle when it’s bad, but we do so knowing that next year, it might not snow at all.
Ice is probably our worst winter problem, from my experience.
With that in mind, I leave you with the lighthearted and humorous news that Oldham Council recently ran a competition for the public to name its latest gritter.
It already had such names as Walter the Salter, Gritney Spears and Gritterbug in its gritter fleet.
After going viral online, the winning entry was Nicole Saltslinger – which I absolutely love :D.
Good luck to anyone who has to live with snow each year and good luck if you don’t and you get an unexpected dumping of it.