January 7th, 2010

"500 plows in the whole of the UK"

So, I just heard on PRI's "The World" radio news show that the United Kingdom has 500 snowplows for the entire country.

They gave no context for this number. The story certainly gives the impression that this is very few, but how many is a reasonable number? I don't know how many snowplows Massachusetts has, for example.

Leaving aside whether this is true, whether this number only counts plows under the control of the Ministry of Transport, or what... I still don't know how that number compares with places which get more snow.

I'm not blaming the show, as this was more or less an atmosphere piece about how England has come to a sliding, slippery halt because of the weather; but I am really wondering what a baseline number of plows is for a place that gets snow regularly.