‘Too hot to breathe’: Commuters suffer on the Tube in heat....and worse is to come

·2-min read
Passengers have been struggling in the heat on the Tube  (Nick Edwards)
Passengers have been struggling in the heat on the Tube (Nick Edwards)

Commuters have been left feeling “too hot to breathe” as they battle the heat on the capital’s Tube network.

Passengers told of their struggles to stay cool during the heatwave as the Standard rode busy routes with a thermometer this week- with temperatures hitting nearly a sweltering 35C.

On the Central line at Bank station, with the temperature at 34.6C, tourist Jules, from the United States, said: “I’m from DC, and I ride the Metro there but that’s air conditioned so I’m not used to this kind of heat.

“It’s very warm, that’s why I’m standing by the window. It’s cooler outside than in DC but just not on the Tube!”

A fellow commuter on the Central at Bond Street, who declined to give her name, where it registered as 33.8C, said: “It’s too warm, it’s too much. It’s too hot to breathe.”

 (Nick Edwards)
(Nick Edwards)

On the Northern line at Waterloo, the thermometer registered a relatively cooler 27.6C - but commuter Rachel, a 46-year-old commercial director, said she still found the heat “intense”.

“It’s very hot, I’ve got a little fan here, which not many people have, it’s a survival thing!” she told the Standard, while holding a bag which also had a fan inside.

“It’s much hotter on here than it is outside, I guess there’s not much air.”

Mark Evers, TfL’s Chief Customer Officer, said: “During this hot weather, we advise customers to ensure they have water with them when they travel, offer a seat to those who may need it and that they may wish to travel at quieter times when possible. If any customer feels ill, they should contact a member of staff at the next station or speak to the bus driver.”

Ahead of Monday and Tuesday when temperatures are expected to soar to as high as 40C, he said: “We have a comprehensive hot weather plan in place to protect the network’s infrastructure and keep services running.

“We also have a resilience structure that would be stood up in the event of exceptionally challenging weather conditions to coordinate responses and mobilise plans beyond our current hot weather plan.”

The Met Office has issued its first ever red warning for extreme heat — with forecasters expecting the capital to hit 38C or 39C on Monday or Tuesday, with the potential of a 40C afternoon peak.

It prompted the Met Office to warn of a “potentially very serious situation”.

Public transport passengers were advised to avoid travel at the hottest times and drivers were urged not to make “unnecessary car journeys”.

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