Motorists and rail users urged to plan ahead of extreme heat

MOTORISTS and rail users are advised to plan ahead and be well prepared for any journeys this weekend and early next week.

The Met Office has issued a warning for Extreme Heat for most of England from Sunday, July 17 to Tuesday, July 19.

National Highways is keen for everyone travelling on its roads during the heatwave to take extra precautions to keep safe and well.

There is advice on its website around travelling in the summer, and the agency will continue to provide social media and traffic updates during the coming days.

Drivers considering travelling over the coming days should:

  • Take a bottle of water to ensure you stay hydrated
  • Plan and leave plenty of time for journeys
  • Check the weather forecast for your destination
  • Check your vehicle before you leave
  • Check travel conditions before setting out and, where it is safe to do so, during journeys.

Among its tips for driving in the summer, National Highways says during particularly hot weather, make sure your engine stays in the normal operating temperature range. However, if it begins to overheat, find somewhere safe to stop and allow it to cool down.

Delays on roads and road closures are possible with potential for significant welfare issues for those who experience even moderate delays

Routes to coastal areas, lakes and rivers could be busier as significantly more people try to escape the heat.

Further weather advice and information can be found on the Met Office website.

To keep informed about driving conditions during journeys, motorists are advised to follow messages on overhead signs and listen to radio updates. Further information can be found by checking the National Highways website for traffic updates, National Highways’ regional Twitter feeds or calling the National Highways Information Line on 0300 123 5000.

Rail passengers are also advised to plan ahead with the heatwave conditions expected to impact journeys next week.

Network Rail’s extreme weather action teams (EWATs) are preparing all the tools at their disposal to keep passengers and freight safely on the move across the North West.

The hot weather, particularly direct sunlight, can cause track temperatures to reach more than 50°C.

Steel rails absorb heat easily and when it becomes very hot it expands and rails can bend, flex and, in serious cases, buckle.

To prevent this from happening some sections of rail are painted white to reflect the sun’s rays and stop the steel from getting too hot.

Trains also run at slower speeds to put less strain on the rails so with a number of heat speed restrictions planned to be implemented on Monday and Tuesday, TransPennine Express will be running an amended train plan and customers are advised to only travel on these days if absolutely necessary.

Due to the speed restrictions, journeys will take longer, and delays and cancellations are likely.

Customers can check their journeys via the TPE website: tpexpress.co.uk/travel-updates or at nationalrail.co.uk.

Customers may defer their TPE journeys to either Wednesday 20 or Thursday 21 July 2022 or a full refund may be obtained at: tpexpress.co.uk/help/refunds with no admin fee.

Passengers are advised to regularly check www.nationalrail.co.uk before they set off on their journeys.

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