As many of you may know, today we have had more snow. I know this as it took me 5 hours to get home. In fact it took 1.5 times as long to get home as I spent in work.
It started shortly after I get in. Within 20 minutes we had an inch of snow on the road outside. Even the passing of vans and trcuks made little impression on it. We had reports that trucks were unable to get to us; that ports had not worked over the weekend and some were closing this morning. My boss had regular updates from home and was looking at the camera feed on the M4 in South Wales.
Around 11:00 someone announced that they had to leave. At 11: 15 we had an e-mail from our transport department saying that all trucks were being recalled from South Wales and the South West due to the weather conditions. By 11:30 I decided that I’d leave around 12:00, after finishing some important work off.
Then I had a call from our Regional Director, at 11:50, telling me that I should consider waiting an hoour or so, as things may clear up – but it was up to me. My 2 colleagues who I’d normally carshare with had left 20 minutes earlier. I pointed out that FW had called to advise that her work, in our town, was closing and that buses were stopping; in addition our house is 950ft up from the valley floor.
So I agreed with my boss that I’d leave and promised that I’d let him know about the conditions on the M4. The road from the office to the M49 was one long icerink. The M49 was down to 2/3rds of a usuable lane and the M4 had a 30mph speed limited and two lanes that were only just usable. At 3:15 I received an e-mail from the director advising us that the road outside the office was dangerous.
It is good to know that our bosses take their legal requirement to consider the safety and wellbeing of their staff so seriously.