Thursday, 2 December 2010

Snow laughing matter: abandoned buses, shopping centres and even roads

So it's snowed. Lots for the South coast. And chaos has ensued. Brighton Council gritters have broken down, so have a few buses (picture right) and shoppers have abandoned the pre-Christmas consumer-fest for a day or two.

In many ways it's a campaigner's dream: reclaiming the streets for pedestrians  is easy when there are few vehicles out, and fighting rampant consumerism by persuading people to stop shopping is a cakewalk when it snows too (check out Churchill Square this morning - and only a fortnight before Christmas. The tills were hardly ringing!).

Seriously though the weather is causing real hardship to many. Heating systems in some communal housing blocks have endured problems, some shops have run out of staples (after just one day), commuters and travellers have been stranded, schools have closed, and as for the city's street homeless population - well it hardly bears thinking about. Oh and the switch-on of the Christmas Lights in St James's Street has had to be cancelled too.

Anyone suffering hardship should try and contact me by leaving a comment below - I'll help however I can. The council (God don't you just love the Tories) seems to have largely abandoned the idea of providing much help itself (although it has placed a large grit pile at the junction of Queen's Park Road and Elm Grove, and been gritting and ploughing major roads) and is instead encouraging a 'big society' response - asking for volunteers to help with gritting, sweeping up snow and driving key workers around. It's not like the snow hasn't been forecast for days (weeks even?) after all...


  1. Credit where it's due, though, the bus company have been really good today. They've had snow chains on buses and had services running in many parts of town since this morning. I was very impressed.

  2. Thanks Dani

    I agree the bus company did better than most. I wasn't really suggesting otherwise with my headline - I just lbved this picture of an abandoned bus!