Heatwave Causes South Coast Travel Problems

16 July 2013, 06:53

The current heatwave's been causing problems for train passengers and car drivers on the south coast.

South West Trains say they're working hard to stop railway tracks buckling in the heat.

Four platforms had to be shut at Waterloo for track repairs on Monday afternoon (15 July), causing delays for commuters as some services were cancelled. The rail firm says it's now using special machinery to prevent the rails warping.

A South West Trains spokesperson:

"With temperatures forecast to raise in the next few days we are reinforcing our hot weather preparation regime.

"We are working hard to prevent any buckled rails before they occur. We will continue to carry out preventative work using hydraulic machines to stress the rails to enable them to cope with high temperatures. In addition, we will continue to closely monitor the weather forecasts and rail temperatures over the coming days and will keep our passengers up to date with the latest service information through our website, twitter, information at stations, announcements on trains and through National Rail Enquiries.

"We are also adding extra supplies of water at 15 key locations throughout the South West Trains network to assist passengers, if needed. Our staff have been asked to carry extra checks when walking through the train, in particular for most vulnerable passengers i.e. young children and elderly people."

Meanwhile, the AA says it's had a 50% rise in call-outs to cars overheating, compared to a fortnight ago. Busy routes to South Coast beaches have been some of the worst for recent breakdowns.

An AA spokesperson said:

"The South Coast was one of our busiest parts of the country.

"One of the main issues is overheating. Last week (excluding the weekend) the number of overheating-related call-outs jumped more than 50% compared to a fortnight ago.

"Manufacturers put great effort and cost in designing cars to operate well in extreme weather conditions, so i's not that cars aren't designed to cope, it's down to driver neglect & lack of regular servicing and maintenance checks.

"If your car is on the edge of a failure, such conditions (particularly if left sitting in traffic) will expose this."

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