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Old December 30th, 2014, 02:20 AM   #3981
John Maynard
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We may have the same "wrong kind of snow" here in Lausanne, Switzerland, as well .

You know, despite of the appearance, it snows only once or twice per year on the Lake Geneva area. According to the description provided by this article, we do have many similar occurrences. As the snow melting into ice, or the ice "blizzard", as temperatures often vary around +- 0°C. Still I can't remind of huge media and widespread "talking" about it, nor of transports, schools and public service "breakdowns". We do have some accidents caused by this "extreme weather", but they are especially people driving without winter tires on hills .

Here is this "blizzard" in action causing "terrific" effects once a while :







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Old December 30th, 2014, 03:23 AM   #3982
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sponge_bob View Post
England, after all, is where a transport snarlup was blamed on "The Wrong Kind of Snow" around 25 years ago. There is a helpful page explaining it Here
Land of Hope and Glory.... :rolleyes:
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Old December 30th, 2014, 11:45 AM   #3983
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielFigFoz View Post
I don't think the UK was paralysed at any point in the past week. Liverpool Airport closed its runway for a bit, that's all I heard about. -4C isn't shockingly cold for London either, I don't see why it would be a problem for the tube.

What I do think is that the British media loves exaggerating everything, and people love it. I remember when I was doing my GCSEs it snowed 8cm, and several schools nearby closed, mine stayed opened but only about 1/4 of the school bothered turning up, but everyone that tried did. The buses were fine, the roads were fine. But some people overreact, partly at least due to sensationalist headlines.

I would understand if it only snowed once a decade.
Speaking as someone who grew up in London in the 70s and 80s I remember how rare snow was then. We had heavy snow some time in the late 70s ('78?) but otherwise only light dustings or no snow at all. These freezing winters that the UK has been having more regularly of late are not something I typically experienced before then. It doesn't surprise me that sudden blizzard conditions cause problems in a country that doesn't typically experience these conditions on a regular basis, although a sensationalist media doesn't exactly help.

Looking at any winter isotherm chart, you'll see how average winter temperatures in the UK compare with the rest of Europe. The effect of the Gulf Stream is readily apparent:

http://www.your-garden-ponds-center....ess-zones.html
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Old December 30th, 2014, 05:44 PM   #3984
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Quote:
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It doesn't surprise me that sudden blizzard conditions cause problems in a country that doesn't typically experience these conditions on a regular basis, although a sensationalist media doesn't exactly help.
Well, I've spent time in Sweden and Austria during periods of snowfall. You'd say that both are countries that see a good bit of snowfall, but those countries will be equally gridlocked on a day of heavier snowfall. Driving conditions on this type of day are just tricky and rail tracks are simply not made for it. Maybe sensasionalist media makes the biggest difference. The size of urban areas affected will probably also make a difference.

Where the 'typical snow countries' do make a difference is driving when there is snow on the road after the snowfall. Countries like Norway will leave many of their trunk roads under snow cover, as Norwegians are used to driving on that type of surface. In countries influenced by the Gulf Stream, traffic will remain gridlocked until the roads have been fully cleared.
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Old December 31st, 2014, 09:05 PM   #3985
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M27, Portsmouth

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Old January 1st, 2015, 10:45 PM   #3986
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Do French security/customs/anti-terrorist/immigration officers operate in Folkstone like the British operate in Calais for ferry-related traffic?
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Old January 1st, 2015, 11:54 PM   #3987
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Yes, they do. As far as I remember, they, French and British police and custom, operate only on British soil (when travelling to the Continent) in order to enable drivers to continue their journey directly on French motorways without additional stopping in Calais.
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Old January 2nd, 2015, 12:51 AM   #3988
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IIRC, it's an embassy type arrangement, with France and the UK having sovereignty of part of the terminal on the other countries soil for all that.

Maybe my memories are clouded by typically arriving (a long time ago now) in France by surface travel at St Malo at 0700 (off an ex-Portsmouth ferry) to be greeted by an unmanned passport control booth (which given that it is the port's main need for passport control was rather funny), but the French typically give a Gallic shrug to the border stuff, and its only the tunnel security stuff that is any hassle going to France.
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Old January 2nd, 2015, 04:50 PM   #3989
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
IIRC, it's an embassy type arrangement, with France and the UK having sovereignty of part of the terminal on the other countries soil for all that.

.
They haven't though. They are still subjected to local laws, even though they have arresting powers. The British would like to call their little area in Calais a "UK control zone". Something that is being laughed away by the French, because French customs are still actively doing drug searches inside the "UK control zone". And in Dover upon arrival at the terminal you are first getting your passport checked by the French police, then the British police may like to have a word with you, then sometimes British customs wishes to make a few inquiries, and if you are really unlucky you get randomly picked by Port of Dover security for a search of your vehicle before you finally make it to the check-in.

UK border officers have often been threatened with arrest by the Belgian police at the Brussels Eurostar station for conducting unlawful checks on passengers not wishing to travel to London.
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Old January 10th, 2015, 12:46 PM   #3990
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielFigFoz View Post
What I do think is that the British media loves exaggerating everything, and people love it. I remember when I was doing my GCSEs it snowed 8cm, and several schools nearby closed, mine stayed opened but only about 1/4 of the school bothered turning up, but everyone that tried did. The buses were fine, the roads were fine. But some people overreact, partly at least due to sensationalist headlines.

I would understand if it only snowed once a decade.
It amuses me that when TV reports tell us about places that are cut off by the weather, or people are having severe difficulties getting about, hoards of journalists have travelled to these places in order to make the reporting more dramatic, but they never seem to realise the irony that if they managed to get there the story isn't quite true.
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Old January 10th, 2015, 04:02 PM   #3991
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"Fog in Channel: Continent Cut Off" *

Quote:
Originally Posted by andy5 View Post
....
In London they are complaining about measured pollution levels still being bad, but not doing much about it. Taxis buses and coaches have been exempt from the latest changes in equipment. And emissions from buildings due to heating oil. Now the mayor is talking about banning all diesel cars in a few years time. Perhaps taxis will still be exempt. If they switch to electric cars, with their blatant marketing lie about zero emissions, this just moves the pollution to the power station.
Do we have any idea (data...) on whether London's congestion charge actually reduces congestion or pollution (if it's even meant to reduce pollution) or just raises money for the government?


*That's supposedly a famous British newspaper headline.
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Old January 10th, 2015, 04:40 PM   #3992
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http://www.cleanerairforlondon.org.u...llution-london

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The air quality in London is improving. In the last fifteen years the concentrations of all local air pollutants in London have decreased, as demonstrated in the graph below (ozone remains a problem, however this is not considered a local pollutant).
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Old January 10th, 2015, 04:52 PM   #3993
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That doesn't answer the question if it is a result of the congestion charge. Air quality also improved significantly in Dutch cities - without a congestion charge.
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Old January 10th, 2015, 04:54 PM   #3994
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(I'm not sure it answers the question even for pollution, actually - not sure it establishes cause and effect....)
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Old January 10th, 2015, 05:52 PM   #3995
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Meanwhile, air quality has improved significantly in Switzerland despite of increase of traffic . That happened without any congestion charges, nor higher tolls since.

I believe that more fuel efficient cars with technologies to reduce pollutants helped a lot. Far more than any road congestion charges, that btw. only reports traffic to the outskirts. Furthermore, pollution generated by industries, factories and power plants (especially fossil energy and coal) within or near big cities, houses heating is far more harmful than road traffic. Remember the Great Smog of death in London?

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Old January 11th, 2015, 12:46 AM   #3996
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London's air quality has got better thanks to cleaner buses/taxis, and the Low Emissions Zone - the Congestion Charge has nothing to do with it.

The Congestion Charge doesn't make much money, if any (they upped the price as it was working as a stick stopping private cars, and thus not making enough money to break even), and profits automatically go to adding buses to the streets inside the zone
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Old January 12th, 2015, 01:06 AM   #3997
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Quote:
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Remember the Great Smog of death in London?
That's a good idea, I should ask my grandmother about that, thanks! She should remember, she would have been twelve.
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Old January 12th, 2015, 11:09 PM   #3998
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Does anyone know how the construction of the motorway service stations in Northern Ireland is progressing?
Irish company Applegreen is building two pairs of services on motorways leading out of Belfast (M1 and M2) and I wonder how advanced the works are.
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Old January 28th, 2015, 09:30 PM   #3999
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Queensferry Crossing under construction.

Some pics from the official twitter feed:



https://mobile.twitter.com/NewForthB...dia/grid?idx=5

And a couple taken by me last year:

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Old January 29th, 2015, 03:19 AM   #4000
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Where's that?
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