Oh I do love threads like this
Well from my privileged position as one of the (insert generic singletrack forum noun here) people in the middle of the problems on Monday night here's my tuppence worth.
Yup, it was pretty bad. The last three miles of the m23 were stationary and then the next 7-8 miles of the a23 (whuch are currently 2 narrow lanes going through roadworks starting on a steep downhill then up another steep hill , this is the main commuter route between Crawley and Brighton) were stationary gridlocked cars due to a lot (and I mean a lot) of crashes, one of them very serious. On a normal weekday evening its busy, one crash on a normal working day can screw the whole area up. Add in sub zero temps and a blizzard that hits at about 3:30pm to this and you have frozen roads regardless of how much you can grit them as once traffic stops, the salt/grit can't help as the cars/trucks tyres can't move this around and help keep the road surface clean of snow.
So, a couple of small crashes on the a23 caused some problems, tailbacks happened then a big crash caused everyone to stop. The road froze and stayed frozen. All the trucks got stuck. Emergency vehicles had to access the accident....
Oh what fun.
My normal drive home does not involve the a23, I go down a lot of quieter B roads but I know that these are bad when its icy so I didn't bother, stayed on the major roads which would have at least been gritted, and went around Horsham on the A24 which was better. But....I did have a few moments when I thought I was going to crash into people who were panicking on icy roads ( anyone who drives a merc, MX5 or BMW needs to learn how to drive in Sweden IMHO )
The problem later on was abandoned cars, broken down cars and people who couldn't get up icy hills ( hint, first gear and idled throttle or start in second and be very gentle with accelerator, clutch, brakes and steering)
I was wondering for a while where the gritters were ( but not in a Daily Mail reader style rant) but later on, having crawled round a corner saw one about 200 ahead stuck in the same traffic I was.
So the roads were covered in ice. A few crashes. Lots of people were just trying to get home from work. All the side roads were off limits as they were covered in snow. Once you started you basically had to continue or you could abandon your car ( causing more problems for everyone else who then had to get around it) and walk a long way home.
Oh and no, I don't have winter tyres on the car ( they are only really useful if everyone has em TBH)
It's all so much better on the continent where they can cope with such......er.....now having lived in Germany I know this is not true. We used to have exactly the same problems during the start on the winter. . Colleagues in Koln have been telling me about Monday and Tuesday which was also very bad on the motorways...same problems with ice. Oh and you have to have winter tyres on your car there. They don't stop crashes or problems, they just make things a bit better if everyone has em but the average winter is a lot worse then here.
I can also say that in Geneva yesterday (out on a biz trip) it was about 8-10 degrees, blue skies and sunshine, no snow below about 1500ft.
But yes, I agree, Cheryl Baker is a twunt.