Commuting to work in snow

Well, I’ve just made it into work, 80 minutes after leaving my house. I appreciate that many people spend far longer commuting, but not when you only live four miles from your office.

What was the reason for my 3mph car journey this morning? It was the 4cm of snow that fell overnight. That’s right – four whole centimetres – just enough to sustain a footprint.

Why is it that this country grinds to a halt the minute we get a cold snap?

Snow in January is not an unexpected phenomenon. And I believe the council does own some gritting lorries. Someone had indeed made a sporadic effort with some salt today, but still most of the traffic slipped and slid along the road like a fourth-rate celebrity in Dancing on Ice.

Which brings me to my next complaint. The quality of driving on Britain’s roads is bad enough at the best of times. But come the season’s first flurry of the white stuff, it becomes super-moronic.

Last year, I recall (with some pleasure) driving carefully along a very icy road, when a 4×4 zoomed up behind me, flashing his lights to indicate that I should move out of its way.

The driver was confident that having four powered wheels made him immune to the treacherous conditions. I let him pass, only to overtake him at the next corner as he scrambled out of the roadside ditch.

My wife is from Alberta, Canada, where winter temperatures frequently hit -40˚C, and snow lays on the ground from October right through to April.

They cope. Their employees can make it to work on time. Why can’t we?

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