It never happens in Europe!

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Agent_zed

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Every year when there is snow in the uk and travel chaos erupts, there are a million comments about how pathetic the UK is and how no one else ever has a problem in europe...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-67880743
I guess all the same comments from the UK would need to be applied to the above, why didn't they know how to drive, why didn't they have snow tyres, why didn't they have snow chains, why didn't they have more snow ploughs, how come they did know it was going to snow it is winter and happens every year, why weren't they rescued quicker etc etc.

Or perhaps snow causes problems with wheeled vehicles wherever you are.
 
Every year when there is snow in the uk and travel chaos erupts, there are a million comments about how pathetic the UK is and how no one else ever has a problem in europe...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-67880743
I guess all the same comments from the UK would need to be applied to the above, why didn't they know how to drive, why didn't they have snow tyres, why didn't they have snow chains, why didn't they have more snow ploughs, how come they did know it was going to snow it is winter and happens every year, why weren't they rescued quicker etc etc.

Or perhaps snow causes problems with wheeled vehicles wherever you are.
A key difference is they measure snow in meters in Sweden and millimetres in the U.K.
 
If. And it could happen, that we lose the Gulf Stream then we will get winters similar to Germany.
There would need to be a huge upgrade in civic and personal preparedness, we aren’t equipped because for a few days every few years it just isn’t worth it.
 
A key difference is they measure snow in meters in Sweden and millimetres in the U.K.

AND the fact that the temps in Sweden have reached record LOW levels, even for Sweden;

AND the fact that "the ordinary man in the street" doesn't even appear to know that there are such things as winter tyres - NO I'm NOT talking about tyres with studs on, or snow chains - just "ordinary" winter tyres.

IME, generally countries in Europe DO have "a necessary amount" of snow kit available, it's just that when a much heavier than normal snow fall occurs, especially if it happens over a short time frame, then whatever the amount of kit available, it becomes overwhelmed - for a short time only (usually within 12 to 24 hours or less). In contrast, it really does take only ONE centimetre of snow to bring UK traffic (and schools, public offices, etc, etc) to a grinding halt - often (also IME) for at least several days at a time!

Again IME, having winter tyres makes a HUGE different to normal daily winter life (NO that doesn't mean "just" snow, but v high winds, v wet roads, and various levels of icing, all of which DO occur as frequently in UK as in many other European countries).

In UK where, as said, winter tyres are virtually unknown. I remember a few years ago when there was a heavy snow fall in UK, the then Minister of Transport (can't remember which Govt) said winter tyres are unneccessary in UK, and/or damage the roads. A clear case either of real ignorance or deliberate obfuscation.

If anyone's interested, this subject has cropped up on the Forum a few years back (prompted, I think, by the above silly Minister of Transport statement). The thread is 3 pages long and my tuppence worth appears somewhere on P3.

Cheers

Edit for a P.S: Sorry, I forgot the link to the above thread (which was in 2019 I note). Here's the link now:

https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/threads/michelin-crossclimate-tyres.115864/page-3#post-1267094
 
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I dread to think how badly the UK wouldnt cope with the same levels of snow fall and those low temperatures as sweden suffered
 
Living in what can loosely be called Southern Europe, just 3 hours drive to Greece, and in the poorest EU country to boot, the difference between winters here and in the UK are marked. Years back we got "real" winters, with a couple of metres of snow and temperatures up on our mountain regularly below -30C. Nowadays it's more like a metre of snow and in the -20s.

Everyone uses winter tyres and there are queues when it's time to switch them at the "tyre hotels", where for a small fee . your summer/winter tyres are boarded out when not in use if you're short of storage space at home. Insurance companies can refuse to pay out if you're not using the correct tyres for the conditions. Trains and flights are very rarely cancelled, and snowploughs are seen on the roads as soon as the forecasts mention snow/ice. There's no such thing as "the wrong kind of snow or unexpected leaves" and everything works as usual.

There's no excuse in the UK for the perennial shambles caused by lack of preparation, and claims of cash shortages are just bogus.
 
I dread to think how badly the UK wouldnt cope with the same levels of snow fall and those low temperatures as sweden suffered
Well badly in the first instance as we have no reason to prepare for such an event at this point in time. But no different to if we suddenly had monsoons or 45 degree weather. Which is mostly my point. We generally have a very moderate climate with very sporadic snow events that can be very varied with where they fall. Hence the chaos when it does happen.

Arguably its easier if you know 1 metre of snow is going to fall and remain for many months as you can plan for it. But even then you still can get caught out as per the above article.

Sure people could drive more sensibly but thats about all you can do. Unless you live in the highlands or a few other places there is no reason to have winter tyres for the few days a year it may or may not snow.

There's no excuse in the UK for the perennial shambles caused by lack of preparation, and claims of cash shortages are just bogus.

Well as I said above, there is a reason. You yourself pointed out that your country gets a metre of snow, hence the reason for winter tyres and snow ploughs. We just don't get that here. Most snow we get doesn't even settle or does for a very short amount of time.

If our government spent millions on additional snowploughs and training and drivers that 'might' be used for 1 or 2 days but will most probably sit rusting in a warehouse, I would think more questions should be asked.

This map is quite interesting Experience and shows most places only have about 6-10 days of snow average, and that's in the last 30 years. I bet the last few years is even less.
 
Similar thing in Czech, roads are salted and gritted in advance, farmers have plough attachments for their tractors that they use to help out the villages nearby. The road up the hill I live on has two or three bags of salt/grit put on the verge every year. Same with the insurance not paying if you have the incorrect tyres. The worst time to try and go anywhere is weekend mornings, as the roads out of the village haven't been cleared then. There was also some flooding with rain melting the snow and that all flowing down in to the rivers, but, again, that is expected, planned for, mitigated, and not as much of a problem as it used to be.
I remember discussing this sort of thing with some colleagues in Spennymoor, they mentioned that they remembered their parents using winter tyres in the past.
 
I lived in Toronto for a while, my boss had moved from Montréal. He told me that Montreal was twinned with Bruges in Belgium, and the Mayor of Montréal had recently visited the city of Bruges. In a conversation with his opposite number, he discovered that Bruges total civic budget was approximately the same as Montréal’s snow-clearing budget line. It’s all down to money.
 
Well badly in the first instance as we have no reason to prepare for such an event at this point in time. But no different to if we suddenly had monsoons or 45 degree weather. Which is mostly my point. We generally have a very moderate climate with very sporadic snow events that can be very varied with where they fall. Hence the chaos when it does happen.

Arguably its easier if you know 1 metre of snow is going to fall and remain for many months as you can plan for it. But even then you still can get caught out as per the above article.

Sure people could drive more sensibly but thats about all you can do. Unless you live in the highlands or a few other places there is no reason to have winter tyres for the few days a year it may or may not snow.



Well as I said above, there is a reason. You yourself pointed out that your country gets a metre of snow, hence the reason for winter tyres and snow ploughs. We just don't get that here. Most snow we get doesn't even settle or does for a very short amount of time.

If our government spent millions on additional snowploughs and training and drivers that 'might' be used for 1 or 2 days but will most probably sit rusting in a warehouse, I would think more questions should be asked.

This map is quite interesting Experience and shows most places only have about 6-10 days of snow average, and that's in the last 30 years. I bet the last few years is even less.

@Agent-zed: You wrote, QUOTE: Sure people could drive more sensibly but thats about all you can do. Unless you live in the highlands or a few other places there is no reason to have winter tyres for the few days a year it may or may not snow. UNQUOTE :

Entirely disagree, and you obviously have NOT tried winter tyres! The clue is in the name, your driving will be easier and safer when you drive in winter with winter tyres fitted. They are NOT "just" for snow!

Suggest you read the rest of this thread, then the thread linked to above. Even better, try a car fitted with winter tyres on typical winter roads where you live (I see it's in the south west - Devon, Cornwall, etc, etc).

I repeat, your QUOTE: ...... there is no reason to have winter tyres for the few days a year it may or may not snow. UNQUOTE: is just completely and utterly wrong.
 
I lived in Toronto for a while, my boss had moved from Montréal. He told me that Montreal was twinned with Bruges in Belgium, and the Mayor of Montréal had recently visited the city of Bruges. In a conversation with his opposite number, he discovered that Bruges total civic budget was approximately the same as Montréal’s snow-clearing budget line. It’s all down to money.


NO, it's not.
 
I live in Austria and in general snow is not a problem. A few weeks ago there was a good snowfall of very wet snow which brought down a lot of trees and especially branches because of the heavy weight, including the top half of our neighbours pine tree. The authorities here were a little slow to react in my area. I had the feeling that they thought it would melt fairly quickly so left the clearing for a few days longer. I have the feeling if only a short snowfall is expected they hold back a bit before reacting (bean counters)
I did have a funny experience a few years ago when I came back to London and there was snow on the pavement. I got my shovel and brush out and cleared the pavement out side my house (required by law here in Austria) as it was starting to ice up. I thought I would do the neighbours a favour and do the pavement outside their house. The old boy who was living there came rushing out and told me to stop. I was puzzled by this and asked him why he did'nt want me to clear the ice and snow. He replied that if someone slipped and hurt themselves he would be held liable. I did mention to him that if I clear all the snow and ice no one will slip and hurt themselves. He insisted I stop. I did as he wished and thought about the hospital ward full of idiots like him that had slipped on ice. I forgot to mention he was wearing leather soled shoes (a killer on ice) I'm glad i'm out it with that kind of mentality about !
Cheers
Andrew
 
farmers have plough attachments for their tractors that they use to help out the villages nearby
My grandad was a farmer and after one of the big winters (I can't remember which and was before my time) he was paid to have a snowplough for the tractor on standby. It subsequently sat and rusted away in the following years and wasn't used again as it didn't snow like that again.

We do have grit bins in pretty much every residential street, but it's been years (probably 10-15) since I've ever needed to use one. Gritter lorries do the main roads, and it just doesn't ice up like it used to.
Entirely disagree, and you obviously have NOT tried winter tyres!
Actually I run all seasons (3 peak/M+S) and have done for about 10 years. But that is mostly because I live in a rural area where a lot of mud and leaves fall on the road and with offroad parking and often drive to the Alps for skiing. Although I'm not sure I've ever actually needed the additional grip over normal 'summer' tyres. I've always used summer tyres prior to that, when there was often more snow, and have never been stuck. Even when I had to drive home in heavy snow on rural roads in a long wheel base rwd unladen ford transit.

Winter tyres for most people in the UK are a waste of money and resources. Wet braking and water clearing is more important most of the time in the uk and a lot of winter tyres aren't designed to clear water. The best rating is B that I can see for the all season /winter tyres and a lot are C and above.
 
I was in Malmo, southern Sweden for work. One night it snowed, so woke up to about to 6 inches of snow. The result was almost exactly the same as it would have been here in England. Traffic halted, no taxis, people late for work, trains very disrupted, flights from nearby airport very disrupted or cancelled
 
I have lived in the namby pamby south and south west of the UK.

In the last 25 years I can recall only being stuck at home (in town, not Dartmoor!) because of snow on 3 occasions for an aggregate of about 5 days. In urban areas a couple of inches on roads usually clears within a few hours following salt, grit and use.

I usually fit all seasons tyres which provide better snow and wet grip than standard fit summer tyres used mostly in the UK. For me it is simply not worthwhile buying and periodically changing (as my car changes) a separate set of wheels and tyres needed for one day every 5 years.

Nor do I expect my local authority to invest (using my taxes) in snow clearing kit, other than for motorways and major routes, which will generally decay through lack of use.
 
Entirely disagree, and you obviously have NOT tried winter tyres! The clue is in the name, your driving will be easier and safer when you drive in winter with winter tyres fitted. They are NOT "just" for snow!
For most winter tyres the cut-off point is +7°C. Below that, winter tyres provide better grip than summer tyres, even on dry tarmac.

Incidentally, I had an odd experience back in the 1990s when I drove back to the UK. I got as far as the Burford roundabout on the A40 between Oxford & Cheltenham and the road I wanted was blocked by a police car. The officer informed me that I would have to go back because the road ahead was blocked with snow. I said I had 4-wheel drive, studded winter tyres (luckily he seemed unaware that they are not legal in the UK) and I had just driven from Helsinki. "I can't help that sir, you will have to go back, the road is blocked with snow". So no option but a lengthy detour, which was just what I wanted having only stopped for ferries and fuel since leaving Finland. I had had no problems anywhere else on my journey.
 
I live in Austria and in general snow is not a problem. A few weeks ago there was a good snowfall of very wet snow which brought down a lot of trees and especially branches because of the heavy weight, including the top half of our neighbours pine tree. The authorities here were a little slow to react in my area. I had the feeling that they thought it would melt fairly quickly so left the clearing for a few days longer. I have the feeling if only a short snowfall is expected they hold back a bit before reacting (bean counters)
I did have a funny experience a few years ago when I came back to London and there was snow on the pavement. I got my shovel and brush out and cleared the pavement out side my house (required by law here in Austria) as it was starting to ice up. I thought I would do the neighbours a favour and do the pavement outside their house. The old boy who was living there came rushing out and told me to stop. I was puzzled by this and asked him why he did'nt want me to clear the ice and snow. He replied that if someone slipped and hurt themselves he would be held liable. I did mention to him that if I clear all the snow and ice no one will slip and hurt themselves. He insisted I stop. I did as he wished and thought about the hospital ward full of idiots like him that had slipped on ice. I forgot to mention he was wearing leather soled shoes (a killer on ice) I'm glad i'm out it with that kind of mentality about !
Cheers
Andrew
If all shop owners etc cleared their frontages, surely this would be advantageous to councils, saving them the expense, SHOULD they decide to do it?
Back in '81/'82, when we had a massive snow storm, a local builder used his Bobcat to clear as much as possible from the pavements. Then it was loaded onto tippers & dumped in the Wye.
 
If you were about in the 1950 - 60's in the UK we had winters, if you look at archived tv film you will see lots of snow clearing equipment keeping the country. Since the mid 70's we don't really get bad winters in most of UK. The councils were having to store and maintain all this equipment for maybe 3 or 4 days of really bad weather. Most citizens of the UK born after 1975 have never seen a harsh winter (7 days or longer) justifying their lack of experience.
Hence the big sell off, councils either sold or did not replace equipment, I believe that this happened in mainland Europe to a greater or lessor extent.
So to say the UK has a pathetic response to winter is uncalled for they are no better or worse than any other country at present.
 
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