So spent all last week in the French Alps in Les Houches where there is now quite a lot of snow, even had to put the snow chains on one day and use them to get the car out and back to the apartment.
Driving there and then coming immediately back to the UK you realise just how badly prepared we are in this country for a sprinkling of snow. Sure we don’t get as much as the Alps so justifying the cost of all the equipment is not practical but boy there is a huge difference.
The roads, not just the main ones but also many of the minor roads are cleared, not just once during the day but several times and including the pavements. Driving back on Friday morning was a bit of a challenge as the first two hours was spent mostly behind gritters. It was snowing a lot as we drove away from Les Houches and on the motorway the gritters were driving in convoy to clear the two lanes. Sure it meant slow traffic but also meant that the road was kept open the whole time. We saw loads of gritters here and there working hard. What made the journey even more challenging was the strength of the wind along the way, very difficult. Even up to the point that the police were stopping the lorries from travelling any further and stacking them on the motorway. Saw several stacks of lorries one almost 5km long! Again it was clear it was something they do on a regular basis as the police were so well organised.
So eventually got to Calais and onto an earlier train and back to the UK. Arrived and it was snowing a little. Went onto the M20 and starting heading up the road and making our way back but with the snow that meant the traffic was moving very very slowly and not a sign of a gritter anywhere!
What is it though about the number of people who buy a 4×4 vehicle and don’t know how to use it and decide they need to drive like pansies? They then decide that oh there is a snow flake I better slow down from 30 to 24mph just in case the snow flake attacks me! Or they decide that they can’t change lanes as the because they clearly can’t control the damn thing and are scared of moving out of the middle ‘safe’ lane. What’s the point of the 4×4?? Even when the road was much clearer most of them are too nervous to move anywhere and continue to plod at about 30mph!
Once onto the M25 the roads were fine, although many people still plodding along ‘just in case’, and it wasn’t until we got to Ipswich when the snow started chucking it down again and the A12 and A14 went down to one lane. Again no gritters even on these main routes, absolutely crazy really.
Anyway finally made it home to our village in the middle of nowhere and as expected no one has been near our lane since the start of the snow last year, but that was expected.by