It's not surprising that Britain's travel network didn't impress us with its response to the thick blanket of snow the South East woke up to on Monday morning. This kind of weather has been a rare occurrence over the last 20 years (particularly in the capital) so the heavy duty equipment needed to keep systems running probably hasn't been considered a worthwhile investment.
Despite London Mayor Boris Johnson's claims that authorities coped 'pretty well
', thousands of commuters endured a day of cancellations, delays and dangerous driving conditions. Criticisms have come in thick and fast that more should have been done in advance to prepare - especially with five days notice from forecasters. With more heavy snowfall
anticipated later this week, hopefully a few lessons have been learned and the chaos will be minimised.
At least anyone worried about more last minute travel hitches can rest assured when hiring a car through Auto Europe. Our standard policy allows you to cancel or amend a booking up to 48 hours before a planned pick-up without incurring any charges, but if your trip is affected by the weather this week, you can cancel or modify the details of a booking free of charge
right up until time of collection.
If you do need to drive when conditions are hazardous, follow these basic tips to reduce risks:
- Leave at least twice the normal distance between you and the vehicle in front
- Use low gears on slippery and downhill roads
- Use only gradual pressure on the accelerator to avoid wheel spin
- Brake gently to avoid wheel lock
- Use short pedal pumps when braking to help your wheels maintain grip
- On hills: give right of way to the vehicle travelling uphill, it is much harder for to re-start a vehicle travelling uphill than one going down
- If you skid, turn the front wheels into the direction of the skid, release the brake and disengage the clutch. You can gently apply brakes ONLY after the skid ceases
- Keep a blanket, a flask of hot drink, a fully charged mobile phone and a book in the car, in case you break down or get caught in a long traffic jam
You can find a more detailed list of guidelines on the Auto Europe website.