Cold snap travel chaos prompts bosses to call for a rethink

Marion Dakers
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S of the capital’s transport network were left in disarray by snow and ice yesterday, prompting businesses to call for more concerted planning for cold weather.

Heathrow cancelled one in ten flights yesterday, hoping to avoid a repeat of the weekend’s frustrations when passengers waited hours for flights that were eventually axed.

Gatwick Airport has urged the government to bring London’s airports together to allow close-to-capacity Heathrow to divert some traffic elsewhere when the weather interferes with its schedule.

“Clearly in extreme winter weather conditions a level of disruption at airports is to be expected but we should all be able to be open for business when confronted with normal winter weather conditions as we saw this weekend,” Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate wrote to transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

The Institute of Directors added that businesses have not been given enough information about disruption during the blizzards.

“We appreciate that transport companies cannot control the weather, but in cases over the last few days communication with customers has been poor,” said senior economic adviser Corin Taylor.

Southern and Southeastern trains ran into widespread delays and cancellations yesterday due to the ice and snow, and both plan to run altered timetables today.