Saturday 11 December 2010

Like snow off a dyke

The Transport Minister's disappeared.

This is a bit of a poser. During the chaotic period from Monday morning to Thursday lunchtime last week, when the roads in Lanarkshire eventually got back to something like normality, everybody was looking for someone to blame. I know I was. Equally, I also know that there wasn't anything anyone could have done to prevent the snow falling in the amounts that it did, so the spat between the Met Office and the Government about whether the forecasts were plain enough is only relevant to one issue - what advice should folk have been given about travelling on Monday, and how should that advice have been transmitted.

The other issue, as far as I see it is what people should have been advised to do once they were actually caught up in the situation. Again though - how do you get advice to folk stuck in miles of gridlock? It's not as if people carry portable telephones around with them everywhere they go, and unless and until every motor vehicle is equipped with some kind of radio receiver, then there really will be no means of establishing communications in circumstances like this.

What we needed, I reckon, is for someone to have Taken A Decision. All this "police advise motorists against travelling unless their journey is strictly necessary" is worse than useless. Firstly, nobody knows whether it applies to them, and secondly loads of folk, for selfish reasons, regard their journeys as essential because it's a journey they want to make. (They're the same folk that think the reason that closed lanes on motorways are flagged up in advance is so that everyone else on the road can change lanes in plenty of time, thus enabling the tossers to swerve across just as they reach the cones.)

The solution? Police announcement via radio, television and emergency mass text message facility (it's bound to exist in times when the country's at war, surely!):

"The weather from 8am tomorrow will be atrocious and travel will be impossible. Do not leave your home between 7am and 10am unless you are involved in a life threatening incident.
Nobody will get the sack for being late.
It's the law.
This will keep the roads free of traffic, the snowploughs can get round and everything will be back to normal by mid-morning. BBC Radio Scotland is solely broadcasting updates on the conditions from around the country. No recipes, songs, banter or any other shite like that. Is this message tolerably clear? Good.
Now sit down and be quiet until we tell you different."

I tell you, things'll change when I'm elected Scotland's First Grand Panjandrum And Supreme Dictator for Life. And now that Stewart "Scapegoat" Stevenson's away, that's just come a step closer.


1 comment:

  1. Totally agree - don't see why "Father Jack" had to fall on his sword.