Snow Joke: Travel Chaos Hits Britain

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Toby Melville/Reuters

Brits have lived through the Blitz (and rations) but, once again, a blizzard has brought much of the U.K. to a standstill.

There have been but two topics of conversation in the U.K. this week: will England win the right to host the 2018 World Cup and the snow resulting in weather warnings for much of the country. Combine both these conversations and we should all be relieved that the soccer isn’t being held during the winter: nobody would be able to get to the games.

(See pictures from the World Cup.)

Overnight, more of the white stuff was unceremoniously dumped as airports, roads and rail continue to be affected. Gatwick Airport remains closed until at least Friday, at least 6,500 schools have been shut and Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said a review of how transport operators coped conditions was under way. This may well have been a reference to passengers being stranded overnight on trains in Kent and Brighton, Eurostar services (and the London Underground) being severely delayed and the AA getting up to 2,000 calls an hour (you would not want to be on hold in the cold.)

(See pictures of snow hitting London)

From a financial perspective, the big freeze could cost the British economy £6 billion ($9.35 billion) due to lost sales and extra costs incurred to businesses. It’s enough to make you pray for better weather and in one part of England, that could have happened as around 100 drivers spent the night at South Anston Methodist chapel near Sheffield, after being stranded on the motorway since Tuesday evening. And much of the nation will be looking upwards this evening, hoping for a clear night. (via BBC)