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The UK has been brought to a standstill by the biggest snowfall since 1991. Let’s just say, London’s preparedness isn’t exactly appropriate for a global center. OK, I’ll give you all the benefit of the doubt: New York City, for example, is used to heavy snow, and its emergency response team is quick to react to icy conditions. But London has been stretched to its limits. Here’s BBC NEWS’ report on the city’s travel travails:
By mid-morning, up to 10 cm (4 in) of snow had fallen in parts of Greater London, with 6 cm (2 in) of snow reported at Heathrow Airport. The conditions led the Met Office to issue an extreme weather warning for London and the south east of England. [LOL]
On the Underground, the Circle line is fully suspended, while Hammersmith & City trains are not continuing eastbound of Aldgate East station.
There are partial suspensions on the Central, Bakerloo, Jubilee, Piccadilly, Metropolitan, and District lines.
Four inches? Four inches? That’s hardly enough for a proper snowball fight, and it takes out the entire Circle line, which is mostly, well, underground. And people are pissed, even while London’s mayor Boris Johnson says the response to the snow has gone well. The folks at Londonist are rather bemused at how a few flurries could bring London’s entire public transport system to a halt.
All London buses being cancelled. Eh? All of them? Every single one? Not even anything on central, gritted roads, until mid-morning? Fffft. When I were a lass in t’North, this’d never a’ ‘appened. Bus companies claim the roads are unsafe – maybe they ought to do some winter weather training…
But our winner is TfL’s explanation for why the Waterloo & City line was suspended this morning. Adverse weather conditions? Staff shortage we could believe, but was it snowing in the tunnels?!
Yikes, man. Well, at least, the snow is providing some gorgeous vistas, including Stonehenge frosted in white (watch the clip below):
Also: Popjustice celebrates the inclement weather with a feature called “Boybands in the Show.”
Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.