Torrential Snow Causes Havoc for Coventry Commuters

Students and adults alike across Coventry woke up on Sunday morning to be greeted by a blanket of snow, across the city. While a few years ago, many of us would have rejoiced in the prospect of a “snow day”, where our schools would be closed. Memories of huddling around the radio at seven in the morning, anxiously waiting to hear our school’s name on the list of school closures, will stick in our minds. Back then we didn’t realise the full effects of such adverse weather conditions, and for the first time (since many of us at iCov would have been at school the last time it snowed this much), many of us are beginning to experience just how much the snow can inconvenience us.

“With more snow expected throughout the day and then freezing temperatures tonight, many staff and students cannot risk making the early starts they have to do, involving round trips of 70 miles or more, only to get stranded whilst trying to get here for 9am sessions, with some students already stranded in various parts of the country”, said one student support member on Sunday night. Student across the country who commute to universities in different towns and cities were held up by poor services on public transport due to the weather, with many trains between Birmingham (where a huge chunk of Coventry University students commutes from) and Coventry being cancelled.

One student told iCov of how her train simply, without announcement at the station or on the train itself, zoomed past Coventry without stopping and carried on to London Euston, inconveniencing hundreds of passengers on board who rely on the trains to get them to work at 9am in the morning. Buses across Birmingham and Coventry were cancelled on Sunday and Monday, before reduced services were brought back in in some areas of Birmingham on Tuesday.

Many people would dismiss commuters’ complaints, arguing that driving to work is the better option anyway. However, the weather has not been kind to drivers either, with

many struggling to even get their car off the drive! “I had to get to Uni in Birmingham for 9, and I live about 10 miles from there. I spent 45 minutes trying to clear my drive of snow, but with more snow falling at the same time there really was no point. For those of us with drives that are on a slope, there’s no chance of moving the car in weather like this”, explains Avneil Purba, who has driven to University for two years, and was yet to experience this kind of inconvenience yet.

“Last time it snowed this much we were all much younger, so we don’t understand how much it can affect the entire country. If students are having trouble getting to Uni then other professionals will to, and if other people can’t get to work then that leaves a void wherever they work, which has a knock on effect to others.”

The fact that such torrential snow falls begun on a Sunday morning meant that local services were unable to respond right away, meaning that by Monday there was two nights’ worth of snow fall blocking everyone’s way. While the snow has stopped for now, and our roads are clear, no one would bet against more snow over the course of Winter.

Vikash Patel

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