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UK hit by heavy snow
Heavy overnight snow has
caused widespread disruption across much of eastern England and the
Midlands. Road and rail services have been badly
affected, there has been disruption to flights
and many schools have
closed. Rob Broomby reports:
It was the heaviest snowfall
in 18 years. Bus services in London
carrying 6 million people have
been cancelled. 10 of 11
underground lines are completely or partly suspended. The capital"s
main airport Heathrow has
closed both runways for a while and there are still significant delays
and cancellations, and there
are no flights at all from City airport. Others are suffering long delays
and cancellations too.
Several docks to the
west have become iced up. And thousands are without piped water in Wales
due to the frozen pipes. Hundreds
of schools have been closed across the country and children at
least are enjoying conditions.
The British like to complain
that other countries handle the snow better than they do, that the
merest sugaring of
snowflakes brings normal
life to a standstill amidst transport chaos. So why
does it happen? Well truly
icy conditions here are rare indeed. So why make a massive investment
to combat extreme weather
conditions that may not be replayed for another 18 years?
At an individual level the
costs of being prepared like some Alpine countries would be high too.
The British, for instance, are
not required to have winter tyres fitted to cars at the start of the
season, nor do they routinely
carry snow chains. On the other hand the Brits do like to complain,
and secretly they also like
being told... sorry you can"t get to work.
Rob Broomby, BBC
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