It's both amusing & pathetic to view the media treatment of weather conditions which are a regular feature of life in other northern European countries. As a few sagacious observers have noted, those who protest about a shortage of salt & grit for the conditions that have turned most of the UK into a giant ice rink over the last couple of days tend to be the same individuals who normally moan about having to pay council tax.
That said, yesterday's tales of traffic chaos all over Merseyside becauseof the snow & ice (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2010/01/06/snow-brings-merseyside-to-an-icy-standstill-transport-network-falls-victim-to-freezing-weather-100252-25535187/ ) did reveal an alarming level of panic & incompetence from both Merseytravel & the city council.
Merseytravel made no meaningful attempt to inform the widest possible number of commuters about the cancellation of bus services across the whole region. Informing Radio Merseyside is all very well, but thousands of would-be bus passengers were still waiting at bus stops a couple of hours after the cancellation, not so blissfully unaware of the news.
The city council's sheepish mumble that it had run out of grit was of a piece with other cock-ups by the Fib-Dem regime. As a postie based at Copperas Hill said to me today, it's typical of the Bradley administration's faith in a bread & circus approach when it comes to running one of the UK's major cities; no expense was spared for culture year (especially not with the £90,000 Ringo & his entourage got through during their stay), yet the city's thoroughfares are viewed as an afterthought in the midst of adverse weather conditions.