As people in the UK get ready for Christmas there are always last minute hitches. Some are within your control and others are not. Strikes and appalling weather are not.
As the world did not end around three hours ago as predicted, it is time to consider both and the impact they may have on you this Christmas.
Today, December 21, 2012, many people are starting their vacations. For some they will finish work today and make the journey home, to wherever that may be. Others will have booked a vacation in the sun and be hoping to jet off to warmer climes. All could be dissappointed. The latest news is that the threat of strikes appears to have been lifted. We will update this information when news is available. Travel disruption has been caused though by a fire at a major London Station and the terrible weather.
The fire at Paddington Station will cause major disruption throughout today. This will affect those trying to get to airports in and around London. The latest on this from the Telegraph is:
The fire in an equipment room at Acton station in west London has led to many services being cancelled to Paddington station, forcing travellers to find alternative routes on one of the busiest days of the year.
What caused the fire is not yet known. Thankfully it was caught in time and although it has caused travel disturbances there are no reports of casualties.
A Wet Christmas.
Once again it looks as if the UK will not have a white Christmas. It is however set to have a wet one.
You would think that we in the UK would be used to wet weather but in recent years it has been very different. Since summer flooding in 2007 there have been many incidencies of flooding. Many more than in the past. Some may be on newly developed land that was not fit for purpose but much of the flooding is in residential areas of long standing.
Apart from climate change Briton's love of their cars has not helped. Too many small gardens have been paved or concreted over to house a beloved second car. Many people who have a garage opt to park on this area instead for convenience and supposed security. These changes have impacted on wildlife in cities and towns and increased the risk of flooding.
When torrential rain falls these days it has nowhere to go. In the end the inadequate, aniquated drainage system cannot cope. The amount of rain has been more than it used to be and the ground is already waterlooged. This could mean that flooding occurs from the ground up.
Flooding is a terrible event when it strikes. At Christmas it could be all the more miserable with few services open for business, cold weather and long delays if for example you need power restoring.
Travel in the UK
If you are in the UK over Christmas bear inmind transport disruption. There will be heavy traffic in the run in and lead out of the Holiday Season. There will be poor driving conditions due to bad weather. Some roads are closed already due to flooding. Make sure when you travel that you have a few supplieas with you in case your journey is delayed.
Above all though have a Happy Christmas.
Weather updates here
UK Christmas survival guide here