Council wasn’t worth its salt
THE Meteorological Office may have decided that March 1 marks the first day of Spring, but as everyone discovered on Monday, it seems the weather gods work from a different agenda.
They came up with a double helping of winter, just to remind us all that we mere mortals have no more control over the elements than many motorists did over their cars.
Snow and ice rapidly brought traffic chaos and all manner of associated problems, as reflected in our coverage of events today.
Vehicles unable to continue their journeys were abandoned or became grim refuges for hours on end, train services were disrupted, buses were withdrawn and the whole sorry mess of Brits v Blizzards was played out on our very doorstep.
But just as Boreas, Eurus and Co mischievously ignored the seasonal script, it seems clear warnings of their impending wintry intervention were similarly overlooked at Gritter GHQ.
Far from their much-vaunted boasts that they were ready for anything the weather cared to throw at them, our guardians of the highways were caught well and truly on the hop.
Their plans for keeping key routes open, come what may, were swept aside in a few hours of swirling snow.
And while they claimed that satellites showed their multi-million pound fleet was out there combating the conditions from the word go, the evidence of many an eyeball mark one suggested otherwise.
By the time gritters put in an appearance in any significant numbers, many vehicles were already stranded and blocking the very roads they had been despatched to keep clear.
How ironic it now seems that as part of its pre-winter PR build-up, East Sussex County Council staged a competition for schoolchildren to “name a gritter”.
Whatever lessons the youngsters learned from it, it seems ESCC singularly failed to grasp the importance of backing up a boast.
Perhaps they could be reminded of it by our proposal for naming a gritter.
How does “Johnny Come Lately” sound?
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Weather for Bexhill-on-Sea
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 11 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North west