The Global Warming Policy Foundation has called on the House of Commons Transport Select Committee to set up a parliamentary inquiry into the winter advice the Government received by the Met Office and the renewed failure of both the Government and local authorities to prepare the UK transport system for the third severe winter in a row.
In a letter to the Chair of the Transport Committee, Louise Ellman, MP, the GWPF stresses that “Lessons have to be learned well in advance of the start of next year’s winter so that we are much better prepared if it is severe again.”
In recent days, the Met Office has stated that it apparently warned the Cabinet Office in late October that the start of the winter would be exceptionally cold. It would appear that the extreme weather warning was kept secret from the public.
According to media reports, the Cabinet Office has been unwilling to confirm whether or not it failed to pass on the Met Office warning to local and road authorities, airports and water companies.
“Not only is the lack of Government preparedness a cause for concern, but we wonder whether there may be another reason for keeping the cold warning under wraps, a motive that the Met Office and the Cabinet Office may have shared: Not to undermine the then forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun,” said Dr Benny Peiser, the GWPF director.