Shambles

Friday, January 31st, 2003

London has collapsed into chaos today, weighed down by snow and the aftermath of Saturday's Tube crash.

One of my colleagues waited for and hour and a half for a train before giving up and going to the dentist instead (less painful, no doubt). Another queued for half an hour just to get into his local station and then had to let five trains go by before he could squeeze into one. Yet another, four months pregnant, lives by the Central Line and so is totally stuffed: her husband was driving her to a mainline station, past overturned buses, when they got stuck in the snow and had to be dug out.

But the boss had the best tale of all, from last night. He emerged from a restaurant at 10.30pm and waited for a bus. After ninety minutes with no sign of one and a rapidly freezing four-person queue, a dodgy-looking minicab pulled over and they all piled in – only to find that the driver appeared never to have driven in snow or ice before and was terrified. In the end my boss took over, driving the cab all over north London to return his fellow sufferers to their homes and then slipping the driver some sort of financial reward to help him recover from the experience.

Honestly, one bit of snow (and, admittedly, a rail crash too) and this city descends into something out of Monty Python.

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I'm Andy Darley. Sometimes I want to say things. This is where I do it.