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Friday, February 09, 2007

'Snow joke on the Tube

What happens in four inches of sticky snow

Wrong kind of snow

I lost count of the times I heard "Ladies and Gentlemen, there are delays on the .....(insert virtually every line)" yesterday. London's biggest snowfall in 7 years (or 15 if you go by This is Local London) was accurately predicted as early as Tuesday. Even down to the right day. Yet the transport system still couldn't cope because the snow was too sticky. The Met Office said that snow was unusually large. London Lite gleefully reported that "These giant snowflakes with their increased moisture are sticking together far more than expected, causing it to settle quicker and deeper".

Geoff Pope, chair of the London Assembly transport committee, said there was "no excuse" for major transport disruption due to bad weather.

"The Met Office has given ample warning of snow, and one would expect that Transport for London has taken steps to ensure that trains can still run without disruption."

The Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines were partially suspended throughout the morning with breakdowns and signal failures caused by snow. There were also delays on the Circle, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City, Central and Jubilee Lines. Inevitably the Northern Line had problems and was suspended between Morden and Kennington.

Temperatures of minus 5C overnight are expected to cause ice on Tube and train tracks so we may find that the wrong type of ice is a problem today. Network Rail and London Underground are putting more engineering staff on duty to try to keep services running.


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