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Winter Transport Issues could prove to be a Headache

posted on Jan 15 2014 by Jade Hensby

Winter Transport Issues could prove to be a Headache

2014 has not seen the best of weather. It has emerged that MPs have said that more must be done to enable transport systems to cope with bad winter weather. Recent floods and gales have shown that disruption was not just caused by snow, as the report by the House of Commons Transport Committee has detailed.


The transport's winter resilience had improved but the report stated that there was still a risk that a few years of mild winter's weather “could lead to a false sense of security and reduce the sector’s preparedness over the longer term”.

The committee said:

  • It is vital that passengers receive up-to-date information of changes and disruptions whenever possible.

  • More needs to be done to keep pavements clear of ice and snow.

  • A national advertising campaign should highlight that the public can clear snow and ice from outside their homes without fear of legal action and should consider doing so.

  • The transport sector must work closely with the Met Office and other forecasters to understand the challenges posed by different types of severe weather.

  • The Highways Agency should review the barriers to providing comprehensive real-time information to drivers, identifying technological and other solutions for doing so, particularly during periods of disruption, and develop a strategy to implement these solutions across England’s major road network.

A member of the committee, Mrs Ellman, said that “the hearing recognise some progress has been made by Government and transport providers to improve information and passenger welfare during severe weather. In particular, pro-active decision making by rail and aviation operators to reduce or cancel services ahead of a major events has reduced disruption... Nevertheless, we believe there remains considerable scope for further improvement across the transport sector.”