Monday, December 21, 2009

Snow brings high-tech Dutch to their knees

Traffic in the Netherlands, and many other European countries, has been severly affected by the wintry conditions; much of the Netherlands is covered with a 10 centimetre-thick blanket of snow.

The Dutch cyclists' union has received scores of calls from short-distance commuters complaining that local authorities are making every effort to clear the roads but are ignoring the dedicated cycle tracks.

Public transport cannot provide an alternative for the private car, because trains are running a skeleton service having dropped direct intercity connections. The Dutch rail network is one of the most intensively used in the world, and delays quickly cause disruptions to the entire network.

Buses were unable to leave garages at the start of the day. Bus company Connexxion told the press that although the roads were passable, many bus stops and stations were frozen over, making conditions for passengers hazardous. People have been urged to avoid travelling.And work from home!

The morning rush-hour saw a whopping 250 kilometres of traffic jams on the motorways, which is considered far above the average on a normal day but even more so today because schools and many businesses are closed for the Christmas holidays.

Air traffic is being affected as well, and flights to Europe and North America are subject to delays and cancellations.

Meteorologists are warning that a new weatherfront passing over the Netherlands on Monday will dump a fresh load of snow on the country.
source: RNW

Day Opening - December 21

An old DC3 in the air