An inquiry into the apparent ‘slow reaction’ of Heathrow Airport to last month’s snow revealed that BAA’s ‘major investment in counter snow technology’ was nothing more than the ordering of an extra wide shovel for the worker who clears the snow from the runways.
Whilst acknowledging that BAA were factually correct in their claim that they had increased spending on ‘snow clearance strategy by 145%’ the inquiry was told in monetary terms this represented an increase from £19.99 to £28.99 for a wider shovel from B & Q in order that the ‘snow clearance operative’, 53-year-old Ted Harvey, could ‘execute his job more efficiently’.
At the hearing, Mr Harvey could give no reasons for the failure of the slow clearance procedures. ‘It’s beyond me,’ said the veteran. ‘Usually once the weather’s warm enough for me to get out there, I’ve discovered the snow’s disappeared as if by magic.’