Pay more to prepare Britain for snow.
Britain has once again ground to a halt due to the snow. There has been a chorus of criticism, the government should have prepared more! Councils don’t get enough gritters out! Our transport system should not freeze up! Indeed we could prepare better, but it would cost a pretty penny to do it, for a relatively mild Britain it is not considered worthwhile. A more unpredictable climate as climate change begins to bite might however change that.
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it makes Britain a laughing stock
Other countries laugh at Britain when they see the transport infrastructure failing under moderate snowy conditions. They laugh because they have snow which is twice as heavy and twice as fast and yet they are able to muddle through it. Britain looks pathetic as it wimpers through a few inches of white soft meltable material. Money should be spent too avoid further embarressment. What international Treaty can be achieved with Britain suffering from a lack of respect?
Other European countries that have similar weather to Britain are facing similar problems. Of course Czechs, Latvians and Lithuanians are better able at handling these situations, they know that they will face these conditions to a severe degree every year. They know what to expect and how much money needs to be put aside for it. Britain, and surrounding EU countries do not have this luxury of foresight, so budgeting is almost impossible. Therefore, other countries have no right or reason to laugh or see Brtain as weak or incapable. It is a matter of differing circumstances.
the staff will not be willing to help anymore!
Money needs to be invested into the transport system somehow. If the staff are not happy because they are not getting the pay they want [[http://debatewise.org/debates/2289-are-london-underground-staff-justified-in-their-strike-action]] then we need to ensure that when times of snow come around, we have sufficient transport to see us through. If we are no longer to be met with friendly staff who can guide us as to how to change our journey, then we need to have trains that will run through the snow. It is ludicrous that staff are expected to work over time to compensate for a poor service. No wonder why they are going on strike! Somewhere in the transport system money needs to be paid out!
The staff in the debate regarding ticket attendants are not complaining about their rate of pay, but about their hours being cut. Therefore, the staff will welcome this travel misery and them 'working around the clock'. If they do not like this weather or these circumstances then I am afraid that it is the old principle of 'be careful what you wish for'. [[http://uknewsreporter.co.uk/tube-strike-train-services-home-tonight/679419/]]
the public will be expected to pay more
It is scandalous that the Government are planning on raising rail fares by up to 13% this January[[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-11895468]] and yet they will not listen to countless cries for a more efficient system. Passengers had to sleep on trains overnight when traveling from Brighton on 01/12/2010. This is due to the inefficiency of the train companies. On the same date, only 30% of train services had been canceled [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11894853]]. How can the public be expected to pay more when no other soul is willing to invest a penny into ensuring that the travel we pay for gets us where we want when we want; regardless of the weather.
In order for the public to get better services they will need to save more. They will see the benefit of paying more. However, they will have to pay the money first before they can see the benefit. The real test will be next year when the snow comes around and whether our transport system is properly adapted then.
the money would have to be drained from another public service
We have seen the pre budget report. We have all sat around criticising where the money has been spent and where the money is coming from. How would we feel if a large chunk was taken out of our NHS, the police or other front line public services in order to cope with a little bit of snow? We would not be happy. We would complain.
It would cost around £5m to grit all the roads once and £15m to grit them three times. Then theres the cost of stockpiling the grit, having the gritting machins to dispense the grit, hiring grit dispenser drivers. Then the trains need to be dealt with. The estimated cost for all of this would be £600m. £600m could pay for 69,930 home-care placements, 120,000 school places or 14,446 miles of road resurfacing. All of these imporvements would help us through out the year, surely this is not a sacrfice we should make for a bit of snow.
[[anna bowden, 23rd December 2009, The Guardian]]
But the money is there for Governments time after time to spend money on our transport systems. The problem is they decide to spend the money on big projects such as trams, underground and high speed lines. This is a visable way of Government improving the transport system, and this wins them votes. There is no kudos in spenidng money on maintenance, which is why it is often left by the wayside. Politics should be about spending money to better everyone's lives, not spending money to win votes.
The money that would need to be spent is not worth the two or three bdays a year which imporvement would prevent.
We are only disrupted by snow two or three days a year. The sheer costs of putting in place heaters or stockpiling snow grit and purchasing more grit dispensers is not worth the one or two days in which Britain suffers from travel delays. If these sorts of weather patterns continued more regularly, then yes the money should be invested, but until that day comes, Britain should just uddle through those 3 out of 365 days of the year.
But this is occurring year in year out! One year on from this argument and we are yet again in the same position. If we would have heeded to the concerns expressed in this debate then we could have improved the system. As it stands; our trains are stuck in stations, our buses tucked away and people are unable to get to work. We all lose out. [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11894853]]
In any case, the cost of even just a couple of unproductive days is staggering. Our GDP is 1.37 trillion, or 3.75 billion per day. We can therefore justify quite a significant expenditure before the costs exceed the gains.
no more money need be spent, a change of living is what we need
In Germany where the travel system is thoguht to be one of the best in Europe, they have a different attitude to travel. They ahve more cars per head in their population but each car does less mileage. That is becuase Britain seems to like to travel. Whether it be shopping or working, it tends to be further away from home than what teh Germans would travel. This results in us placing too much reliance on the transport system. If we lived more like the Germans then we would find it easier to cope with when teh snow fell. The disruption would be minimised.
Reducing travel may reduce the problem, but it does not fix it. Having snowploughs, gritters etc ready fixes the problem.
What do you think?