Heavy snow brings traffic to standstill

Foto: CTK

The Czech Republic is currently experiencing proper winter weather - much to the delight of winter sports lovers. But just like every year snow and freezing temperatures have been causing severe problems throughout the country.

Photo: CTK
Pavla Horakova has been watching the situation and she joins me now in the studio. First of all, Pavla, what's the situation like in Prague?

If we look out of the window here in the studio, we can see that Prague is covered in snow, and while it looks rather lovely, I'm afraid people who had to commute to work this morning had little understanding for the beauty of the white city. I myself travelled half an hour longer than I normally would but some people were held up for hours in tailbacks of cars.

So did road maintenance crews fail to handle the situation?

Photo: CTK
Although snowploughs worked all night to clear the snow, many roads remained impassable, often because of drivers who underestimated the necessity of winter tyres. As usual, buses have difficulties in the hilly districts of Prague, and one tram was reported to have been derailed due to a deep layer of snow on the tracks.

If trams have problems, how about trains?

The ten to thirty centimetres of snow that fell last night throughout the country has indeed affected rail traffic. Tracks as well as points are covered in snow which railway workers have to clear away. Moreover, temperatures below minus ten degrees Celsius on Tuesday caused tracks to break and points to freeze in many places. But on Wednesday morning Czech Railways reported only 20-minute delays on average. However, international trains have been reported to be up to one hour behind their schedule. Speaking of freezing temperatures, there is one interesting thing - while frosty weather reduces the capacity of batteries in cell-phones, it is said to improve mobile phone signal.