Motorway in winter

Winter is coming, and compared to a few years ago at least, it appears that the UK is actually prepared.

Certainly the Transport Committee’s Ready and waiting? report into winter resilience, which is published today, is largely positive, something that can’t always be said (see last year’s Vosa report).

Indeed, the general view of the Louis Ellman MP-lead committee is that those involved in keeping the country moving have taken affirmative action after the chaos of winter 2009-10.

Perhaps the fact, contained within the report, that 2010’s prolonged December snowfall hit the UK’s gross domestic product by 0.6% in the final quarter of that year ultimately helped focus minds.

Certainly since then, the Highways Agency has established a national salt reserve meaning the issue of a shortage of salt, which reared its head at the time, has been addressed (although the recent high winds across the UK mean it's not simply about the white stuff, according to the committee).

Indeed, for operators the main interest in the report, which covers rail and aviation too, is the committee’s call for the Highways Agency to provide true comprehensive real-time information to those out on the roads and come up with a plan to make sure it’s put in place and useful.

Given the advent of Google Glass and smart watches, it's something that can’t be beyond the wit of man - although the evidence sessions for this report were of course infamously delayed last year due to, yes, bad weather.

Anyway, we await to hear the government's response with interest and a warming brandy in hand.