Archive for March 12, 2013

Snowbound in Brighton

Posted in Biographical with tags , , on March 12, 2013 by telescoper

The last twenty-four hours in Brighton have been very strange. It started snowing yesterday morning. Not snowing very much, actually, but it was also very cold so not a very pleasant way to start the week. Nevertheless I had a trouble-free bus trip to the University of Sussex campus and got on with my business. It carried on snowing a bit, but not much. This is what it looked like outside my office at about 11.30.

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It kept on snowing a bit, but not much, all afternoon. By five o’clock I noticed that the Twitter feed for the Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company was announcing that some bus services were suspended. Then all of its bendy buses were withdrawn from service. Since most of the buses I get to and from campus are of the bendy variety I decided to head home. It was snowing a little heavier by then, and it took a long time to get home owing to heavy traffic, but I made it to my flat by about 6.30pm. Checking Twitter again I saw that all bus servives had been cancelled. The accumulated amount of snow in central Brighton was no more than a centimetre.

Buses remained suspended this morning. Owing to the transport difficulties facing its staff and students the University of Sussex decided to cancel teaching for the day and operate at a minimal level of service. I settled down to work a bit at home, with a view to travelling to campus as soon as the buses were running again. In fact the roads appeared very clear when I decided to make the most of my morning off, by doing some shopping and getting a haircut, but the bus service to Falmer was not reinstated until about two hours after I took this picture…

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When I did eventually get on a Number 25 bus, the roads were completely clear of snow. Not surprisingly, actually, because although it snowed for quite a long time it was really rather light.

What is staggering is that less than half an inch of snow could paralyse the transport system of entire Town the size of Brighton, especially when it was forecast days in advance. There may have been heavier snowfall elsewhere in the area of course. The town is also rather hilly which, in icy conditions could cause problems for buses. But Brighton & Hove Council’s preparations for this cold snap seem to have been woefully ineffective. It’s sobering to experience how vulnerable this town is to even slightly bad weather.

Anyway, I’m now on campus. It’s not snowing. The sun’s shining, in fact. All the roads are clear. But there are few students about because there’s no teaching going on. Time to get some work done…

..and then try to get home!

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