Winter Snow In Chiswick To Continue
Disruption possible as locals brace for several freezing days
Chiswick was braced for several days of potential disruption as a cold front extending from west to east is set to continue for another week. The first of the weekend's snow to the area arrived just before 9 am Friday (Jan 18) and the weather forecast is for snow to return on Sunday though it is expected to be lighter.
Picture: Jon Perry
Hounslow Council said they fully intend to operate refuse and recycling collections as normal on Monday. Their gritting teams had been out since Thursday night (17th) in readiness for the snow and all rubbish and recycling collections went ahead on Friday apart from a few roads where access was blocked.
Schools have urged parents to check their websites for up to date news if the weather gets bad. Chiswick School closed at 12.30 on Friday to facilitate staff and students getting home safely. Parents are asked to watch the school website for updates over the weekend. St Mary's RC primary also closed early on Friday.
A number of sporting fixtures were also affected.
Some train operators, including South West Trains which runs from Chiswick to Waterloo, announced changes in schedule and are urging people to visit their website for up to date information. www.southwesttrains.co.uk/alerts.aspx
Strand on the Green by the river at 9.15 am Friday
Customers were advised to check before they travelled using the South West Journey Planner. Some people complained that trains were only running every half hour on Friday morning even before the snow had started to fall.
Passengers can check before travelling by visiting Live Travel News or follow @tfltravelalerts, @tfltrafficnews and @tflbusalerts on Twitter.
One commuter told ChiswickW4.com that on Friday morning, a newly-scheduled 07.35 train running five minutes late was already jammed full at Brentford and by Barnes, people were not able to get on. There were 50-60 people standing in each carriage - shoulder to shoulder - all the way into Waterloo, he said. On his return, a 2pm train heading for Eton via the Hounslow line was less busy, but even with the snow the train was not impeded in any way.
"The question is, why change the timetable so radically? And why mess up the busy morning commute when it was clear from all weather reports that the snow would only hit London by mid morning?"
Hounslow Highways said they had made preparations for gritting the borough’s roads throughout, but there was still some traffic and travel disruption. A number of people complained that there were falls on the paths in certain parts of the High Road.
The Council said they gritted at 10am -12 noon on Friday and again at 1pm. The street cleansing teams had been manually clearing the footpaths in addition to their normal duties.
With more snow forecast for Sunday and possibly Tuesday, people are advised to check whether schools would be closed or other Council services affected on the Council website. Alternatively you can follow their latest news on Twitter or Facebook.
All libraries and leisure centres intend to stay open as normal. Refuse collections were expecting to continue as normal, and residents were advised to place refuse and recycling outside as normal, ideally on the morning of collection before 7 am.
The Space Waye tip closed early on Friday, and the situation for the weekend was unclear. Customers were advised to call ahead if possible on 020 88900917 and if there was no answer, it was likely the site was closed. Efforts would be made to keep the residential side open even if the trade side was closed.
Arrangements were in place to enable boroughs to share salt stores, and the pan-London Strategic Salt Reserve of 27,000 tonnes which had not been called into use in the past two winters was also available. They would work "around the clock" on the Tube , bus, rail and road networks to minimise disruption", said TfL.
London Ambulance said they were "well prepared" for the snow and all ambulances were fitted with winter tyres to help them on the snow and ice. They warned people to be careful when walking on icy pavements.
Weather forecasters predicted temperatures of -1 degrees, a bitter cold weekend, with frost and ice also potential hazards for motorists.
At Heathrow Airport disruption to flights continued over the weekend. A total of 130 snow clearing vehicles were out in force along with over 500 workers to ensure the runways were kept clear but despite this there were almost 400 flights cancelled out of 1,300 on Friday and 100 cancelled on Saturday. Many people were forced to sleep at the airport. The airport has spent £36 million on its winter programme.
Councillor Peter Box, chairman of the Local Government Association's economy and transport board, said local councils were fully prepared for the cold weather over the coming days. One million tons of salt have been set aside ready for gritting throughout the UK.
Have you been affected by the snow? Send us your news or email any photographs to editor@chiswickW4.com
January 18, 2013