When one has been trapped in the home, either through weather conditions, injury, or both, one starts to wonder if there is not a solution to our weather problems. The media have been full of criticism of the various authorities responsible for transport and roads, and quoting their views on the Russian example. I was just such a one, until I looked closely into my own area and realised that the topographical details of Great Britain are probably unique with respect to the rest of the world. Let me enlarge.
The ice age in this country has been responsible for leaving behind, debris, such as clay and sand, which the glaciers carried with them, as a result of crushing rock formations, as the ice moved under gravity. I suggest that this phenomenon was greater in the UK than probably anywhere else, because we were on the edge of the ice sheet, and so when melting started, the main sheet of ice would remain stable elsewhere, and it would be on the periphery where the melting would start, with a reduction in the weight of glacier, enabling it to move, thus forming huge mounds of clay, called drumlins, and large areas of the very finest sand, referred to as eskers.
There are areas in Northern Ireland, and I’m sure elsewhere, where these features are in abundance, the drumlins in particular, making the country a series of small hills interconnected by small valleys. Speaking generally, conurbations very often start on level ground, but as elevation, giving greater perspective, is sought, roads will become steeper as the building continues, with the arrival of the situation we are in now.
The same logic can be applied to railways, where people fuss about the fact that leaves, blown onto the line in Autum, cause disruption in this country. The route of railways is consequently inevitably through small hills, and larger hills, and as it is cheaper to make a cutting supported by tree roots, rather than building retaining walls in these cuttings, the topography has mainly determined the situation. In the case of continents, such as Europe, if my theory is valid, and the ice did nor travel, and space is not an issue, as it is in the British isles, then flat routs for transport will be easier to determine, and the same applies to buildings and conurbations. Therefore, these areas will not like a switchback.
There is little doubt, that these statements is will not meet with everyone’s approval, I merely offer them for consideration as I believe in them.