Second Cobra meeting called as Londoners urged not to travel due to extreme heat

·4-min read
Second Cobra meeting called as Londoners urged not to travel due to extreme heat

Kit Malthouse will chair a Cobra civil contingencies committee to discuss the impending heatwave, a Government spokesman has said.

It will be the second Cobra meeting Mr Malthouse has led on the issue.

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan has also urged the public to only travel if necessary, and has issued an air pollution alert for Monday.

On Friday, Mr Khan convened a special meeting of the Mayors Advisory Group with key senior officials from agencies including the NHS, the Met Police, London Fire Brigade, London Ambulance Service, London Councils and Transport for London - to ensure London’s agencies have a robust plan in place to deal with the level four heat alert.

He added: “I need to be clear with all Londoners that the next few days will see temperatures that we have never experienced in this city.

“This hot weather is normally something we all welcome but this heatwave brings with it a potential threat to life and means that all of us are going to have to change our routines in order to stay safe. It is vital that we all take sensible precautions to look after ourselves and help reduce the pressure on our emergency services who will be very busy in this extreme heat.

“Londoners need to exercise caution on Monday and Tuesday. This includes only using public transport if your journey is absolutely necessary – and if you do so, plan ahead, carry water and be prepared for significant delays, particularly on the London Underground which will be running with speed restrictions.

“On Monday and Tuesday, Londoners who do not have to travel to their place of work, should work where they feel most comfortable. For many this will mean staying at home – while others may prefer to go to office spaces which may be cooler and air conditioned.

“Remember, these temperatures pose a danger to all Londoners, no matter how fit and healthy they may be. I am also calling for Londoners to continue to look out for the most vulnerable, including the elderly, those living alone, and those with chronic or severe illnesses.”

The current heatwave is set to peak on Tuesday, with an 80% chance of the mercury topping the UK’s record temperature of 38.7C (101.7F) set in Cambridge in 2019.

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

The firm’s chief operating officer Andy Lord said: “Due to the exceptionally hot weather that is expected next week, customers should only use London’s transport network for essential journeys.

UK Weather: Summer Heatwave 2022

“If customers do need to travel, they should check before they travel as we are expecting there to be some impact to Tube and rail services as a result of temporary speed restrictions we will need to introduce to keep everyone safe,” he added.

“It is also vital that customers always carry water at all times with them when travelling.”

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

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

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Very hot temperatures can affect rails, overhead power lines and signalling equipment, with TfL saying it will work hard to keep as many services running as possible using “enhanced” inspections to mitigate the impact of the extreme weather.

Track temperature checks will continue to be carried out regularly across the Tube and rail networks to ensure they remain safe and that the track is not at risk of bending or buckling, TfL said in a statement.

It added it was also inspecting the air conditioning units on the trains that cover 40% of the Tube network, the trains on the Elizabeth Line and London Overground as well as the air cooling units on double-deck buses to ensure they are functioning well.

TfL also has response teams standing by on its rail and road network to deal with any issues as they occur, with a particular focus on stalled trains and times, crowding and customer advice.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting