How the heatwave is going to affect travel this afternoon

Britain could see its hottest ever day today, and anyone who needs to travel anywhere is really going to feel it.

Of course, there’s the obvious fact it is going to be really, really hot.

The tube is expected to reach up to 42C, while buses and cars without air-con could become like ovens.

But it’s not just the uncomfortable heat that will make travel difficult.

The heatwave could disrupt services, with people warned their journeys may not run as smoothly as usual.

People in London and the South East have been advised against train travel because of the heat.

Network Rail warned speed restrictions may be introduced in areas where tracks are at risk of buckling.

Extreme weather action teams (EWATs) have been ‘activated’ to keep passengers safe and trains running, it said.

The Rail Delivery Group, which represents the industry, advised passengers in London and the South East to consider changing their travel plans on Thursday owing to the heat.

London North Eastern Railway (LNER), which runs inter-city services on the East Coast Main Line, is also advising customers against travelling on Thursday.

It said some services were likely to be cancelled or delayed as speed restrictions will be imposed between Peterborough and London King’s Cross.

They said: ‘We are advising that customers DO NOT TRAVEL unless absolutely necessary.’

Those making long car journeys cannot rely on the radio for company – FM and AM radio signals can be disrupted in hot weather because signals from local stations can travel further and cause interference outside their usual range.

Speed restrictions are to be introduced on some rail lines because of the heat, Network Rail has said.

In a statement it said that ‘in some locations we may have to introduce speed restrictions during the hottest part of the day at vulnerable locations as slower trains exert lower forces on the track and reduce the likelihood of buckling’.

Nick King, of Network Rail added: ‘Keeping passengers safe and moving are our top priorities during this heatwave.

‘That’s why we sometimes have to put speed restriction on to prevent our rails – that can be over 20 degrees hotter than air temperatures – from buckling which can derail a train and cause huge delays.

‘Passengers should check before they travel, by visiting their train operator’s website or National Rail Enquiries.’

If you do have to travel, make sure you have plenty of water with you as it is easy to get dehydrated in the hot weather.

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