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Don't panic: TfL promises London is ready for snow

Josh Mcloughlin

After the unadulterated misery of the tube strike on Monday, which brought the city to a standstill, Londoners are bracing themselves for snowy weather to hit the capital in the coming days, fearing more transport madness as freezing conditions approach.

But the folks at TfL have assured everyone that they, and London's borough councils, are fully prepared to keep the city moving in the event of bad weather.

There hasn't been proper snow in London for three winters, but in a statement released on their website, TfL said that more than 100,000 tonnes of salt have been stockpiled. That's enough to last 139 days of ice – sounds like overkill if you ask us, but better safe than sorry, eh?

TfL is responsible for the treatment of all of London's Red Routes, a network of 580km of key roads, and has a fleet of 39 road gritters, all of which are low emission and can be fitted with ploughs, as well as gritting quad bikes (yes, quad bikes) and flatbed trucks to keep the roads and pavements clear.

On London Underground there are 'well-rehearsed plans', including running de-icing trains overnight, gritting platforms and making sure key points – the mechanical parts that operate junctions on the network – are heated and subject to regular inspections.

On the DLR, points heaters are also in operation and teams of staff are ready to grit station platforms. On London Overground, trains in passenger service fitted with de-icing tanks will be operating across the network to ensure conductor rails are free of ice.

Sounds like we're in safe hands, London. Who knows, the cold weather might even make travelling on Routemasters bearable.

Not convinced? Here's everything you need to know about 'thundersnow'.

Photo: Andrew Thomas

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