Martin Salter - working hard for Reading West

Salter Slams Snow Shambles in London Whilst Reading Keeps Moving

Reading West MP Martin Salter, who made it through yesterday’s snow to be in Parliament, has praised the public services in Reading for keeping the town moving in difficult weather conditions, in marked contrast to the scenes of chaos he witnessed in London.

Mr Salter has written to the Chief Executive of Reading Borough Council, Michael Coughlin, and to James Freeman, the managing director of Reading Buses to congratulate them and their staff for keeping the roads clear and the buses running. Meanwhile in London, all but one Underground line was suffering from total suspension, part suspension or subject to severe delays, and no buses were running. In addition, many roads had not been gritted.

Mr Salter said:-

“The contrast between Boris Johnson’s London and my town of Reading couldn’t have been more stark yesterday. Parts of London resembled scenes from Lord of the Flies and The Day After Tomorrow. I saw scores of people standing at bus stops in near blizzard conditions waiting for non-existent buses, and main roads that had clearly not been gritted. It beggars belief that an Underground system could be brought to a standstill by a bit of snow - after all, the Tube does benefit from having a roof! My journey to Reading station was actually quicker than normal and I only had to wait ten minutes for a fast service to Paddington. However, once in London everything ground to a halt.”

Mr Salter added:-

“Perhaps Boris Johnson should come for a ride on Reading buses to find out how to run a proper public transport network.”

In his letter to Mr Coughlin and Mr Freeman, Mr Salter said:-

“I just wanted to drop you a line to put on record my thanks to both of you and all the staff at Reading Buses and Reading Borough Council for keeping the town moving during yesterday’s heavy snow falls. Compared to London which was virtually shut down, Reading was a model of good planning and preparation. I understand that virtually all bus services were running and that all primary routes were gritted and clear. I even hear that the Borough Council was providing grit and salt to the Royal Berkshire Fire Brigade and Ambulance Service in order to help them keep their depots and forecourts clear of snow.

 “I am at a loss to know why London was so dreadful when other towns were able to cope relatively well. Afterall, the snowfalls were not exactly a surprise as the weather forecast turned out to be accurate. Please pass on my thanks and congratulations to your staff for the excellent work that they did in difficult conditions.”

Cllr Tony Page, lead member for Strategic Planning and Transport said:-

“The Reading Buses staff performed admirably in delivering over 95 percent of scheduled mileage in extremely difficult circumstances and they deserve everyone’s praise for having kept the town moving.”