Heatwave: Urgent warning to only travel if necessary

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People are urged to avoid travel during a heatwave.

Temperatures could reach 40C in the coming days as people are urged to only travel if ‘absolutely necessary’.

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Transport for London (TfL) has warned residents of the capital to avoid travel as “extreme” temperatures are expected.

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The Met Office has issued a red heat warning for the first time ever and will apply for Monday (July 18) and Tuesday (July 19).

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There is concern that the heat could be life-threatening.

The current heatwave is expected to peak on July 19, with an 80 per cent chance of mercury surpassing the UK’s record temperature of 38.7C (101.7F) set in Cambridge in 2019.

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Transport for London (TfL) advises passengers to only travel for “essential journeys”.

What did TfL say?

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Andy Lord, TfL’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “Due to the exceptionally hot weather expected next week, customers should only use the London transport network for essential journeys.

“If customers need to travel, they should inquire before travelling, as we anticipate there will be some impact on subway and rail services due to temporary speed restrictions we need to put in place to keep everyone safe,” he added.

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“It’s also important that customers always have water with them when they travel.”

What did Network Rail say?

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Rail travelers in England and Wales are being warned not to travel on Monday and Tuesday unless absolutely necessary.

Network Rail Group Director System Operator Jake Kelly said: “Rail travelers should only travel if necessary as there will be delays and cancellations of train services due to the unprecedented heat we expect.

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“The well-being of our passengers is our top priority, so we ask all passengers who choose to travel to take the time to prepare before leaving home.

“Remember to bring a water bottle along with anything else you might need to keep yourself comfortable in the heat. Bottled water can be refilled for free at most Network Rail managed stations.

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He added: “Journeys will take significantly longer and delays are likely as speed restrictions are put in place to ensure the safety of passengers and railway staff. So allow considerably more time to complete your trip and be prepared for very hot conditions

“We are working closely with MetDesk to monitor forecasts and adjust our plans, and with our colleagues at rail operators to ensure we can carry passengers who need to travel safely to their destinations.”

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What warnings are there?

The Met Office has issued an amber heat warning from Sunday to Tuesday, covering much of England and Wales.

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There is a 50 per cent chance of temperatures reaching 40C anywhere in the UK, likely along the A1 corridor, with the Met Office also issuing its first red extreme heat warning.

TfL has urged people not to travel on Monday and Tuesday. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

What measures is TfL taking?

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Very hot temperatures can affect rails, overhead wires and signaling equipment. TfL says it will work hard to keep as many services running as possible by conducting “enhanced” inspections to mitigate the effects of the extreme weather.

Track temperature checks will continue to be carried out regularly on the tube and rail networks to ensure they remain safe and that tracks are not bent or buckled, TfL said in a statement.

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It added that it also inspects air conditioning units on trains, which cover 40% of the Tube network, trains on the Elizabeth Line and London Overground, and air cooling units on double-decker buses to ensure they are working properly.

TfL also has response teams on its rail and road network ready to deal with any issues as they arise, with a particular focus on stopped trains and times, congestion and customer advice.

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What are the signs of dehydration?

When your body’s normal water content is reduced, it upsets the balance of salts and sugars in your body and affects how it functions. If left untreated, symptoms can worsen and become a more serious problem.

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Early warning signs of dehydration include:

  • feeling thirsty
  • Dark yellow and strong smelling urine
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • feeling tired
  • Dry mouth, lips and eyes
  • Urinate little and less than four times a day

Dehydration is the most common cause of dehydration, but it can occur more easily if you suffer from heat stroke, have a high temperature of 100°F (38°C) or higher, have diabetes, are vomiting, or have diarrhea.

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