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MPs call for winter weather plan

Some houses dusted in snow3/1/14

By Tom Donnelly

The House of Commons Transport Committee has called for more to be done to allow transport systems to cope with bad winter weather.

Recent storms showed that travel chaos was not solely caused by snow, a report by the committee said.

In December flooding led to widespread delays and cancellations at Britain's second busiest airport Gatwick.

Committee chair, Louise Ellman, said that the aviation authorities need to "get to the bottom of what went wrong".

Storms and flooding disrupt transport

"Disruption to transport is not just caused by snow. We saw recently the impact of severe storms and flooding on transport services," she said.

The report suggested that a few years of milder winter weather "could lead to a false sense of security and reduce the sector's preparedness over the longer term".

In addition to this, the committee said that passengers need to receive up-to-date information of changes and disruption whenever possible.

Meanwhile improved relations are being called for between the transport sector and weather forecasters, such as the Met Office.

Keep pavements clear of ice and snow

MPs also called for more to be done to keep pavements clear of ice and snow.

A national advertising campaign will be put in place to inform the public that they can clear ice and snow outside their homes without the threat of legal action against them.

New airport licence conditions will be examined by the Civil Aviation Authority by spring 2015 to ensure that passenger welfare standards are met by all airports across the UK.

The Highways Agency should also review the barriers to providing real-time information to drivers during periods of disruption, the report said.

Also, it is believed train operators should be required to develop better procedures when it comes to identifying and reacting to disruption on the railways.


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