So we got the snow, not that much though. But it appears it was enough to bring the entire city of Norwich to a gridlocked standstill.
A work friend rang me at about 3 to say that she was heading off to the railway station then, coz she'd heard that there was a severe weather warning for us and the traffic was getting bad in the city. She's a secretary, so if she just stops her work it doesn't do anything while she's not there (which can be irritating for those who wanted the typing, but they can suck it up in these circumstances). My type of work tends to keep on doing stuff and needs to get to a good point to stop if I don't want to have wasted the whole week. So I rather foolishly decided to finish stuff up before going home.
I hope Fiona's trip to the station was better than mine.
I left at 4 and went and stood at the bus-stop. About 10 minutes later having not seen any signs of any buses, or indeed any traffic at all, I started asking the people stood there if they'd seen a bus go past (they go past the bus-stop to the end and turn round before picking people up, so if no-one's seen any buses in half an hour in either direction then there ain't anything happening soon). Nobody had, so me and a colleague decided to walk up to the main bus-stop and see if the buses just weren't bothering to come into the inner site. God knows when the other people at the bus-stop got home, coz when we got to that stop we discovered the lack of traffic was due to all the exits from the University being full of cars at a standstill. Looks like everyone else decided to head off home early too.
So we decided to walk, did Gabriella and I. She was 'only' going into the city to her kids' after school club, about a 45 minute walk or so. The railway station is, it seems, an hour and 15 minutes walk from the Uni in falling snow and icy conditions.
It was good to have the company for the first bit, we went a couple of shortcuts that Gabriella knew and managed to walk on nice crisp snow for the most part. Once we got to where we parted company (about halfway down Unthank Road) it had got a lot more icy and a lot less pleasant. I kept going and kept on my feet, which was a Good Thing :)
As I got walked through the centre and got closer to the railway station it became more and more clear that the majority of the problem wasn't caused by the bad weather but by people's bad driving. Now, I accept that in such conditions the movement of traffic will be slower and that this is a good thing. And I accept that accidents will happen, and that this is not necessarily the fault of anybody involved, just bad luck. But there is absolutely no excuse for actively running red lights just to get yourself that single extra car length into the middle of some of the busiest junctions in Norwich (both ends of Prince of Wales Street). All that succeeds in doing is blocking the traffic coming from other directions, which will back up and block up even more of Norwich's roads just because people just have no damn patience. And when those traffic lights are also pedestrian crossings you run the risk of running down someone who is crossing the road, as nearly happened twice to me. I shouted at the second person, nothing obscene, just "That's a red light, woman!". She had the grace to flinch, but still kept going till she'd made absolutely sure that none of the traffic could get past her.
The other thing that astonished me was the number of people queueing for buses in the centre of Norwich complaining "Where's the bus? I've been waiting ages for my bus!". I felt I should be chanting a litany as I walked through - "If you live in Norwich, you'll be quicker walking! If you live in Norwich, you'll be quicker walking!". And let's face it, the stationary traffic infront of the bus-stop should have dropped a few hints about where your damn bus was.
At least the trains were running properly, a few delays, but when are there not? And in the end I got home at my normal time, just with an extra hour in the journey due to the walk.