the corner office

a blog, by Colin Pretorius

Confusion and Delay

Two things are a given in a UK winter. One: if it snows, it'll will cause transport chaos and two: people will bitch like hell about it and what is the country coming to etc etc.

Thing is, the UK has a handful of snow-filled days each winter, and as far as I can tell, this kind of snow is somewhat uncharacteristic. I suspect if the UK had the kind of winter where snow fell in November and didn't stop falling until February, then the country would've sorted out the snow thing a long time ago. Rail companies wouldn't use third-conductor trains where the contacts run along the ground and can get covered in snow and frozen over all the time. There'd be plenty of infrastructure and equipment to keep roads cleared, and public services would have their snow procedures down pat.

It would also cost a lot of money. Sure, the snow costs the economy a billion a day, and people get upset, but that's only half the equation. If it cost the economy 2 billion a year to be as snow-ready as people would like, would it be worth it? Where do you break even? How much of an increase in rail fares or council tax would people be willing to pay for the snow problem to just go away?

Of course, if I was one of the people stuck on the Orpington or Pett's Wood trains last night (these being the two stops up from ours), I might be singing a different tune.

{2010.12.01 15:35}

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