Anyone who took a look at London on the 18th of December saw nothing but a white wall of snow. The ankle-deep snow blanket that covered Britain’s capital afterwards was the heaviest snow in 20 years (The Times).
But Britain’s 10 cm of snow is something many Germans can only mildly smile about.
In the ‘Bergische Land’ near Düsseldorf and Cologne 50 cm of snow buried cars, trees, houses and gardens – leaving nothing but a scary-silent whiteness.
The snow ploughs covered parked cars from tires to roof, the snow mountains along the streets are higher than average humans, dogs sink in and vanish: this is snow chaos.
But icy conditions and ongoing snow falls do not stop the people here from driving. It doesn’t really stop trains and it didn’t affect the flight travel for too long.
So, if there are ways to cope with even more snow, why wasn’t Heathrow able to get the planes flying earlier this week?
Well, experience might be an issue here.
But a lack of investment in trained staff and professional equipment also played a large part in the chaos.
According to Channel 4, Heathrow has cut its investment in snow equipment by two-thirds to £500,000 this year due to the financial crisis.
The guardian reports that BAA chief executive Colin Matthews sanctioned a £10m investment in snow equipment for Heathrow on the 22nd.
Tavellers still angry
Even though most flights actually took off today, many travellers were still angry about the conditions at Heathrow.
“It is ridiculous that a big hub like Heathrow cannot be operated for days,“ said Vincent from Mauritius.
“This will cost Heathrow its reputation and it will probably open up opportunities for other cities, like Dubai, to take its place,“ said Marie from Iowa. She would never again fly to London, she added.
Even though the flights are being operated now, travellers might still cast scared looks at the greyish winter sky hoping for no more snow: because when the Christmas holidays are over they’ll all have to head to the airports again to try and make their way home…