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To ask what 'essential journey' means to you?

(34 Posts)
Iamsparklyknickers Sat 19-Jan-13 10:33:35

With all the recent travel advice in my area basically boiling down to "if you don't have to travel then don't", I'm wondering how people translate that?

To me it means essential service staff like police, medical staff etc, people who need medical attention, people looking after elderly or sick relatives, people who can travel a short distance to provide work cover, people needing medical attention and maybe I could stretch to transport of essential foods/petrol.

I appreciate that I can lean towards over reaction, but it appears dp and I have very different ideas of 'essential' journeys! I've also noticed people grumbling about employers basically threatening them to get into work regardless. Is there some universal criteria in existence to find out who's in the right?

BeanJuice Sat 19-Jan-13 14:52:28

I generally think going to work (for anyone) counts as essential, unless the weather is really is appalling.

HecateWhoopass Sat 19-Jan-13 13:28:49

Actually, I think really it's risk assessment, isn't it.

How important is this and what are the risks of doing it and is the risk worth taking.

So going for a pint of milk if the risk is getting stuck in a 10ft drift and dying of hypothermia probably isn't worth it grin

and THAT'S where the problem is.

People risk assess differently. my essential journey based on my assessment of the conditions and my idea of how essential the thing is will not be the same as your essential journey based on your assessment of the conditions and your idea of how essential the thing is or her essential journey based on her assessment of the conditions and her idea of how essential the thing. So you get some people going out in a blizzard for a loaf of bread and some people refusing to go to work because it snowed for 60 seconds yesterday.

So you're never going to get anything that's consistent. because people aren't.

degutastic Sat 19-Jan-13 13:22:29

Other essential journeys imho include people with animals dependent on them - e.g. farm workers (fortunately usually live on site!), livery staff, horse owners who don't keep the beasts at home / somewhere with staff, etc...

Toboganning is not essential though hmm

mademred Sat 19-Jan-13 13:12:24

After the large snowfall yesterday, we ventured about half a mile up the rd to our nearest asda, and we got out because we have a 4x4, and did find it a bit slippy.our neighbours, who have a car, asked if we could get them a few bits ,so we said yes, no problem as we could get out of our rd.when we got back, about 45mins later , the neighbours all piled into their car to go tobbagoning!!! And they were going to the next town with an awful treacherous rd in even in good weather.had they skidded on ice and ended up in a ditch they would be putting a strain on the emergency services all because her kids like the great outdoors!

manicinsomniac Sat 19-Jan-13 13:10:27

To me it means anything that would annoy or inconvenience me or others if I didn't go.

So yesterday I walked to work because I can and it was easier. But this weekend I will drive to the supermarket and church because I need to and to the gym and the cinema because I want to.

Iamsparklyknickers Sat 19-Jan-13 13:02:55

stayincognito I'm sorry to read about your niece. Hope it all went well yesterday.

So do supermarket/ shop workers have 'essential' jobs then? I can see the logic that people need supplies, but then I'm not entirely comfortable with a group of people who are traditionally not particularly well paid risking travelling if the official advice is not to. I wouldn't be pleased to be stranded at work in a supermarket - although at least there's food!

elliejjtiny Sat 19-Jan-13 13:01:01

We don't have a lot of snow here (somerset) but dh works in a rural area so he stayed home from work yesterday and we kept the boys off school as DS2 is a wheelchair user (wheelchair struggles with big cracks in the pavement nevermind snow!) and we would be relying on buses. Snow has stopped falling and the roads are clear so DH and DS1 have gone to tesco. They have got blankets, snacks and a fully charged mobile just in case.

Sokmonsta Sat 19-Jan-13 12:50:07

Essential journeys are urgent gp visit (ie anything that rely can't wait), food shopping when I've nothing left to make the next meal and dh getting to work. Although he has to be there, and usually leaves very early in bad snow, work kindly say get here safely. So if it takes longer than his shift start time, he doesn't get penalised. But also means he can be late home as they do a one in, on rout based on who had furthest to travel

HecateWhoopass Sat 19-Jan-13 12:39:02


If there's a bit of snow but the main roads are clear then essential means something different to 2 feet of snow on every road and you'll probably end up walking grin

I don't think it's an absolute. I think it's those things that are vital enough to mean that it is necessary to go out in those particular conditions.

clear roads, it may be considered essential to go and get a pint of milk.
2 feet of snow, it's only essential if someone's going to die!


Polyethyl Sat 19-Jan-13 12:36:28

My husband is supposed to be on a TA training weekend. But the training area and range has been closed. Stop the war - there's snow in Hampshire!

maddening Sat 19-Jan-13 12:34:47

Also managers in certain businesses should be deciding to ask less staff in - eg clothes and similar retail in really badly affected areas - plus if staff are finding it hard to get in so will the customers.

Euphemia Sat 19-Jan-13 12:27:24

My problem is I'm a total wuss about driving in snow since getting caught in a sudden blizzard when DD was a baby and spending three hours on a journey that normally takes one. I'm terrified.

I have colleagues who live in the same town as me who carshare to work, and one of them has a 4x4 so they always brave the journey. I can't go with them as they leave too early for my childcare arrangements.

So there's going to come a day when I decide not to travel and they've all gone and I look like a slacker! confused

SPBInDisguise Sat 19-Jan-13 12:26:49

SI I am so sorry sad

Good point GoldPlated - many people would class hotel work as non essential (not like medics, fire etc) however then the advice is "stay somewhere nearby) - therefore a demand on hotels who themselves place a demand on retal etc.

For me, work - sort of. Lots of the time I can work from home (I do 3 days from home as standardanyway) and still deliver. However when i go into work, I tend to do the essential stuff that can only be done at work. So I could probably, depending on time of year/specific deadlines, get away with one completely snowed in week, but not two. However I am lucky. DH is similar. Our issue would be childcare.

Shopping - there are a few shops within walking distance, so as long as they don't start running low we are OK. This time is nothing really though - main roads seem OK and deliveries are getting through. Not like a couple of years ago when we were very scared we'd run out of gas, and the local shops were running low on milk.

StayingIncognito Sat 19-Jan-13 12:19:36

My three hour journey yesterday to attend my 10 year old great-niece's funeral was essential to me. However, I did go by train instead of driving and I took overnight things and was prepared to stay over if the return journey proved impossible. Also wore plenty of layers and had food and drink in my bag in case the train got stuck.

DadOnIce Sat 19-Jan-13 12:16:24

Most people's work won't count "snow" as an acceptable reason to stay at home. And think of all the jobs which can't be done from home. Teacher, doctor, police, factory workers...

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Sat 19-Jan-13 12:13:56

It's essential that I earn a living and that my kids get an education.

Social stuff can wait.

DumSpiroSpero Sat 19-Jan-13 12:11:58

Last night's essential journey was to the fish and chip shop as my meat for dinner didn't defrost in time! grin.

Fortunately was off yesterday and I only live around the corner from my work - the only problem arises if both DH and I have to go in and DD's school is shut, which may happen on Monday.

DH will not be paid if his school is open and he doesn't go in, and I will have to go in as I'm the nearest person and even if we shut I'll be the one ringing the families to tell them.

I do work for Surestart though, so will probably be able to take DD in with me if absolutely necessary - she's 8, so she can sit in the cafe with a hot chocolate and her iPad and amuse herself while I work.

KatieScarlett2833 Sat 19-Jan-13 12:03:10

Work and medical emergencies only.

GoldPlatedNineDoors Sat 19-Jan-13 11:38:40

I think work just try and get every due in in so will send taxis if public transport stops, ask people who are already in to stay overbight and do a shift tomorrow - we havent had a directive from them.

DowntonTrout Sat 19-Jan-13 11:32:17

My DS was due to travel to the Brecon beacons yesterday from the north of england. They had booked a holiday cottage for the weekend. Despite my warnings about the bad weather 8 of them set off in two cars and made it with no problems at all- a 5 hour drive.
Their journey wasn't essential but they stood to lose £1000 if they didn't go. I lent him my 4x4 but the other car was a Clio!

RuleBritannia Sat 19-Jan-13 11:22:43

I reaised that I was too low on milk and bread this morning. Where bread is concerned, I buy one large sliced loaf and keep it in the freezer. I eat such a small amount that one loaf lasts about 6 weeks.

I looked at my car with <2ft of snow on top of it, looked at the road and decided to get the free bus. Anyway, the snow here is melting so there's no need for all this fuss.

JourneyThroughLife Sat 19-Jan-13 11:22:37

Work is essential for me. Plus I've already collected someone from the local hospital this morning (in deep snow) as they'd been discharged and couldn't get back themselves. However, I'm used to driving in snow, I'm not afraid of awful weather and will happily go out in freezing fog during the night etc. Plus I have a pretty good car which can cope with bad weather conditions, so I don't always see the "essential journeys only" advice applying to me....

SirBoobAlot Sat 19-Jan-13 11:13:14

Right now I am considering an essential journey into town for a cooked breakfast.

<to be fair, the roads are clear here, I live right on a main bus route, and everything is running to timetable...

Meglet Sat 19-Jan-13 11:06:20

DVO is probably chauffuer (sp?) driven too. I doubt she knows anything about national rail services in freezing weather.

I did have an evil chuckle at a daft, martyr-ish friend once. There was a severe weather warning for snow over london + midlands and she still decided to drive for 2hrs to visit friends. She ended up stuck on the M25 for 4hrs and said it was awful, I didn't have any sympathy as it was bloody forecast!

I'm lucky that I can leave my car in the garage in this weather. I walked 2 miles there and back for a GP apt yesterday, but I'm healthy and can manage it no problem. Not everyone would want to walk it.

Iamsparklyknickers Sat 19-Jan-13 11:04:32

goldplated, see for me that's where the grey area starts, I agree public facing businesses need to open, so is that where the scale of whose journey is worse than someone else's starts?

Does your work prioritise asking staff who live the closest/are less likely to be affected by school closures to cover those who travel further?

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