Transport disruption as Eurotunnel, roads and rail hit by hot weather
Some Eurotunnel passengers were left in limbo after their tickets were cancelled amid delays caused by air conditioning units failing.
Thousands of people embarking on a summer getaway suffered disruption as the transport network struggled to cope with sizzling temperatures and high passenger numbers.
The plans of many passengers travelling to France on cross-Channel rail operator Eurotunnel were left in limbo after their tickets were cancelled amid delays caused by air conditioning units failing.
The high Temperatures are affecting the operation of air conditioning on our trains resulting delays. We recommend you stock up with drinking water before you arrive at Folkestone. Thank you for your understanding. ^FF— Eurotunnel Le Shuttle (@LeShuttle) July 27, 2018
After queues of up to six-and-a-half hours on Thursday, passengers were prevented from travelling on Friday if they were due to return on the same day or Saturday.
Passengers were urged to avoid travelling on London North Eastern Railway (LNER) on Friday after lightning damaged the signalling system.
#LNERUpdate Due to the extreme weather conditions and signalling failure throughout the route our advice to passengers is as follows:— London North Eastern Railway (@LNER) July 27, 2018
Do not travel today (27/07/2018)
Tickets will be valid for tomorrow (28/07/2018) and Sunday (29/07/2018).
LNER operates trains on the East Coast Main Line between London and Scotland.
Train firm Northern advised passengers not to travel in the Yorkshire area due to the same issue.
TRAVEL UPDATE: Northern advises our customers not to travel at this time. Due to lightning damaging the signalling system between Leeds and York all lines are blocked. pic.twitter.com/n2rCVyxb7d— Northern (@northernassist) July 27, 2018
Some Eurostar trains from London to Paris and Brussels were delayed by around half an hour.
A spokeswoman for the operator said the disruption was due to the “high volume of passengers”.
A Eurostar train manager wrote on Twitter that a train to the Belgian capital was delayed because of “congestion at border control” at London St Pancras International.
Other rail journeys were disrupted by the hot weather as train speeds were cut to reduce the likelihood of tracks buckling.
⚠️Due to Emergency Speed Restrictions put in place in the Oxford area because of high track temperatures, there will be some changes to scheduled services during the hours of 11:00 and 18:00 until Friday 27th July. Please follow the link for details https://t.co/F7SD8oARDq⚠️ pic.twitter.com/nSzAiIrwMY— Chiltern Railways (@chilternrailway) July 27, 2018
Chiltern Railways trains between Oxford and London Marylebone were affected, following disruption to Greater Anglia services earlier this week.
Cutting the speed of trains reduces the forces they exert on the track, making rails less likely to buckle.
Friday is expected to be the busiest day of the summer for flights as many people begin summer holidays.
Nats, the UK air traffic control service, is due to handle 8,841 flights in 24 hours, with London Heathrow to Dublin, New York and Frankfurt the most popular routes.
Motorists were warned over melting roads, with episodes reported in Brighton and Godalming, Surrey.
The RAC experienced an increase in breakdowns of around 15-20% on Thursday compared with a typical day in late July.
In recent days the company has seen a spike in call-outs for air conditioning failures, tyre punctures, misfuels and people locking themselves out of cars.