It has become a national joke that Britain cannot cope with even a tiny amount of snow. As soon as the white stuff starts coming down our quiet society is taken over with traffic chaos, panic buying and Armageddon metaphors.
I recently had to explain this situation to some international friends studying with me at Sussex University. They were very excited to have a snowy winter but, having explained the unedifying facts to them, they were stunned that we were so incapable of dealing with this entirely uncomplicated weather phenomenon.
It would seem that climate change and shifting weather patterns cause snow to be an annual occurrence yet as a country we have absolutely no resilience to an event that barely causes raised eyebrows in others. We need a political and social change in attitude to help combat the stress, chaos and huge monetary lost caused every year when a couple of centimeters of part-frozen perspiration shuts down the whole country. We need a large increase in funding to allow local councils to respond with greater efficiency and alacrity in dealing with snow. As in many aspects of life I have been impressed by Brighton and Hove City Council in dealing with the recent snowfall but even so a couple of inches caused a full day-or-so of disruption.
We must look to Northern Europe and Canada to see systems capable of dealing with feet of snow rather than inches. We must look at the money we lose due to disruption and invest in better innovations and resources. Most importantly of all...WE MUST NOT PANIC!