EVEN though Northern folk are rightly proud of their reputation for resilience when inclement weather strikes, this week’s so-called ‘Beast from the East’ has provided a stern test after snow-covered Yorkshire was hit by Siberian-like temperatures.
As such, readers of The Yorkshire Post are indebted to all those public servants who were duty-bound to battle through the elements to ensure key services, like the NHS, were not adversely hit. It’s also been a Herculean task keeping main roads open and running some semblance of a train service.
Just as importantly, the freezing conditions have brought out the best in those public-spirited people who have gone out of their way to help the elderly, vulnerable, immobile and all those struggling to cope – their generosity of goodwill has made a genuine difference.
Yet, while it simply impractical for most schools to open, or businesses to expect all staff members to turn up on time, modern technology makes it far easier for predominantly office-based staff to work from home and, in doing so, ease the burden on the transport network.
It’s all the more reason why the Government needs to accelerate the country’s investment in broadband technology, as set out by Environment Secretary Michael Gove in his set-piece speech to the NFU last week, so even more people can potentially benefit from flexible working.
After all, the areas with the worst access to the internet, and so on, are invariably those rural communities that are the most inaccessible of all in extreme weather.