Think of a number …

Of course the railways came to a standstill and traffic was gridlocked, but then one wonders what would happen if the heavens opened and a real avalanche descended on the city.

Consider that in New York City on 7 January 1997 an incredible 19 inches of snow fell in one day – almost ten times the amount across the capital on Wednesday 8 January, while parts of Glasgow experienced a similarly disastrous scenario when 15 inches fell during Hogmanay in 2000.

One can almost picture the apocalyptic scene in London: the tube and railway suspended as trains are buried up to their windows in snow, buses stranded in depots and motorists abandoning half-buried vehicles by the roadside. The toboggan and sleigh becomes the preferred mode of transport – still of course subject to Ken Livingstone’s £5 congestion charge – as workers arrive with shovels to dig their way into the office while the USA flies in the marines to dig cranky MPs out of the House of Commons …

Related reading