Norwich reporter braves the long walk to work in snowy conditions

The long crawl home for drivers on the snow-covered streets of Norwich yesterday. Photo: Bill Smith

The long crawl home for drivers on the snow-covered streets of Norwich yesterday. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2013

With just a couple of inches of snow yesterday afternoon bringing the city to a standstill Norwich Evening News and EDP crime correspondent PETER WALSH decided to brave the five or so miles into work on foot.

Having witnessed the chaos, carnage and mayhem wreaked yesterday by just a couple of inches of snow I decided to walk into work this morning so as to avoid the prospect of having to abandon the car or face being stuck for hours in a jam.

It was about 6.45am that I set off from Spixworth crunching and sliding my way through the snow and ice-covered footpaths as other early risers attempted to clear the white stuff from car windscreens and windows.

Having survived the first half a mile or so, where I managed to stay upright despite the best efforts of the sinister snow forces underfoot, I stopped for a few minutes at a bus stop on Ivy Road joining a couple of women who seemed to know more than me about the movements of the city-bound First bus.

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But with the arctic temperatures taking hold and my hopes of being rescued by a double-decked steed evaporating fast, I decided to carry on my journey on foot.

I knew it was going to take me somewhere in the region of 90 to 100 minutes to reach my destination and so in a bid to try and claw back some of the wasted time spent waiting for the bus I attempted to speedwalk/run where safe to do so.

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Walking down the Buxton Road towards the city with barely a soul about, the odd slow moving car apart, it was easy to forget the chaotic scenes of traffic terror brought about the snow yesterday.

The snow-covered footpaths, trees and fields were a vision of beauty rather than of nuisance or pain.

But the closer I slowly edged towards the city the more congested the roads became and it soon became clear that today, like yesterday, was going to be dominated by the weather.

By the time I got over the Constitution Hill roundabout and started heading down the hill I started to hit pavements not covered in crusty white snow, but treacherous compacted ice.

Not one bus had passed me as I wandered slowly in, so I had to carry on battling to stay on my feet in increasigly slippery conditions.

More and more people were filing onto the main road on their feet, presumably in a bid to avoid a repeat of yesterday's scenes where it was taking people hours just to drive a few miles.

Despite several slips and slides I managed to survive the decent down Constitution Hill and, so acclimatised by know had I become to the conditions, managed to overtake many along Magdalen Road.

However I stopped a little further along having seen three or people helping a man who had clearly fallen foul of the slippery conditions. I stopped to ensure he was okay and on being reassured by others that I could go on I did so.

Heading into the city the paths became so hazardous that, along Magdalen Street, I like others abandoned them to walk on the road which offered much more grip.

By now it seemed buses were operating and those waiting at bus stops seemed to be certain to be rescued from the cold sooner rather than later.

The final ascent up Cattle Market Street towards Rouen Road was achieved with legs heavy from the strain of having tried to keep me upright for the past hour and a half or so.

But I made it, just after 8.30am, and will be prepared to do it all again tonight if needs be. I would rather that than sitting in the comfort of a warm car taking forever to go nowhere.

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