Julian Bray writes: Despite well signposted warnings all over the media and the printed press about heavy snow, blizzard conditions and high winds over the weekend, there are literally thousands of cancellations reported this Monday morning of air, rail and cross channel ferry cancellations with one P&O ferry stranded on a sandbank, it took three oceangoing tugs to pull the vessel and a ship load of worried passengers off the sandbar.
Some service stations are reportedly running out of fuel and thousands of homes and some hospitals have been without power.
Of course with rail cancellations, no rail replacement bus services were operating, and there has been widespread criticism of sparsely operated gritting teams as cash strapped local authority contractors are allegedly conserving road salt piles for more adverse weather conditions said to be on their way during January 2018.
Heathrow Terminal 5 was the focus of multiple BA cancellations and a total disruption to the schedules due, says the Spanish IAG owned airline, to aircraft being out of position and crews and ground staff unable to reach arrival/departing airports.
Other airlines reported a raft of cancellations and a few blamed the lack of available de-icing systems to get their aircraft in a condition fit to fly.
Scuffles erupted and armed airport policed were called in to restore some form of order when Heathrow executive lounges were closed and the visitors ejected.
Thousands of stranded passengers curled up on the floor overnight, as some catering outlets ran out of supplies or staff shift changes had affected the number of staff coming on stream due to the new intake being unable to reach the airport.
Regional airports also reported poor conditions and cancellations, the advice being to telephone your airline before setting out for the airport or railway station.
The AA, RAC and Green Flag reported a higher than usual number of roadside call outs but deteriorating conditions also caused problems.
Many motorists were caught unawares and the rescue services say vehicles hadn't checked over or serviced to cope with winter motoring conditions.
Finally schools all over the UK were closed, on safety grounds, as pupils and staff stayed at home.
In all a normal situation for the UK, the first real dump of snow poleaxing transportation throughout the country. It happens most years. Government claims there is little use in gearing up for these conditions, as they do in Switzerland. It is claimed the incidents are not often or heavy enough to justify the expenditure.
Finally, worse conditions are set for Monday night and Tuesday morning as treacherous BLACK ICE is set to replace current snowbound conditions.
JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, ... Travel & Holiday Guru www.aviationcomment.com, ... http://www.freelancedirectory.org/user.php?user=8121 ... www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment, ... Aviation / Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industries, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 ... SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476