On Trains & Buses

Travel news, views & information from Europe & North America by an independent public transport user


Posted on December 1, 2010

Reading time: 3 minutes.

The current round of snow is having quite an effect on the transport network in some places. Thankfully, Macclesfield doesn’t seem to be the worst hit though there must be a considerable snow covering on the hills not far from the town and Buxton cannot escape either. The A537/A54 are closed to traffic, so things cannot be good up on the heights. If it’s like what we got at the start of the year, they’ll need snowblowers to clear roads.

Bowers are unable to offer the full service that they usually do and the 27 Macclesfield-Knutsford route was only operated for part of the afternoon, and it looked as if the same applied to the 19 Macclesfield - Whirley - Prestbury service. They are based in Chapel-en-le-Frith so that cannot help them. It’s one thing to struggle to get buses out from a depot, but it’s another if drivers cannot get there in the first place.

From the bus tracker, Arriva seems to be able to keep the 130 Macclesfield-Manchester service going, though there are delays and thoughts of them persuaded me to work from home today. A look at their latest update conveys to me the impression that we are getting off more lightly than some other places. They have created a summary in PDF to stop people hammering the website like they did at the start of the year.

One look at an update for the north of England confirms that a number of places cannot be served by rail, even, and Northern Rail has details on its website too. Sheffield is but one badly hit area and a work colleague of mine has a foot of snow covering his garden! No wonder First cannot run buses around the city. Northumberland and parts of east Yorkshire are taking the brunt of the weather and the disruption by the appearances of things. All in all, it seems that the weather is getting the better of the railways in places.

Ireland may have a maritime climate, but it too is feeling the effects of the cold spell. Though most trains are running (only Docklands station in Dublin is not getting a service this evening), if subject to delays, the Irish Rail website is getting hammered. That may be due in part to the problems that Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann are having. The former’s services stopped around 20:00 this evening and the latter has been struggling to run services up and down the east coast of the country, to point that 19:30 was the end of operations for the day on many of them. The severe weather pages of the Irish Department of Transport are another calling point for general information, particularly about road conditions and any gritting.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given its reputation, Scotland has got a right blast of the arctic conditions with even Edinburgh’s Lothian Buses being unable to offer a full service. The mixture of hilly terrain and hefty snowfalls must be at the heart of the problem, but one only can imagine how much more challenging it is in the Highlands though train running problems are happening throughout Scotland.

Though numerous, what I have collected here is only a sample of what is happening out there. Maybe, it is too hard to keep on top of it all when you have a day job in another profession, but I’ll see if I can share what I can on here.