Thursday, 7 January 2010

Weather Chaos: Theres no More Grit!


Wednesday morning, after all the snow, I bravely went to work as normal. Well, why not, given that Stagecoach in Portsmouth were running buses (as opposed to First, who weren't). I was greeted with the sight of half a dozen fellow employees sat on the display sofas. Our delivery (which has a 100 mile journey from the distribution centre) had turned back and the majority of employees had sniffed snow and stayed in bed. Even the ones within walking distance.

Anyway, we managed to open the store for an hour or so and served all of 7 customers in that time, so we shut again.

I think I've mentioned before that when I was a kid and we had snow like this, bus routes were the priority and were kept gritted. It seems not so today. Lake Road in Portsmouth appeared ungritted and the bus slithered along it. I saw a gritter on Kingston Road on the way home, but all it was doing was using the snow plough to remove most of the snow. The pitiful dribble of salt coming out of the back could well have been dislodged by the vibration of the truck moving along the road. Certainly the grit spreader attachment wasn't working.

So one can only conclude that the rumours I heard today are true: that grit supplies are running out and that only motorways and major routes are being gritted. There's not enough grit to use on other routes such as bus routes. The fact that the M27/A27 was well gritted as I went to rescue the wife this afternoon and the lack of grit on the roads in Havant seems also to bear this out.

Later on today it will be interesting to see if the buses venture out onto what will now be quite compact snow or or very slippery ice. I may be having my own snow day.

UPDATE:

We had a temperature low of -8C last night, as registered on my outside thermometer. Thats pretty cold for somewhere right next to the sea. Further inland must have been worse. All the snow must be sheet ice by now. I'm just about to venture out to see if buses are running and get to work. I may be some time.

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