Leeds heatwave: Stark warning issued to motorists and rail users ahead of 'red alert' extreme weather warnings

Motorists and rail users are being advised to plan ahead and be well prepared for any journeys this week after government warnings over the extreme heat.

Temperatures in Leeds could hit 36 °C on Tuesday with the Government declaring a "national emergency" with an increase of their heat health warning to level four.

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Level four comes with a warning that illness and death may occur - even among the fit and healthy.

The AA alongside the local fire service and rail operators are advising travellers to be well prepared before they set off on their journeys. Picture: PA.

The AA alongside the local fire service and rail operators are advising travellers to be well prepared before they set off on their journeys.

Motorists are advised to set off as early in the morning as possible as that can reduce the chances of car engines overheating - as the air temperature is reduced at this time of the day.

Road surfaces are also likely to be cooler - meaning that your car’s tyres are less likely to reach temperatures high enough for pressures to increase.

The AA are also advising that motorists be extra careful if leaving children or pets in the car - on a sunny 27 °C day, the inside temperature of a car could reach an oven-like 60 °C.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service also took to social media to issue a word of caution.

"Please take extra care when out on the roads, drive to the conditions, keep an eye on the temperature and stay safe," they tweeted.

"It's nothing personal, but we'd rather not see you."

Network rail meanwhile are advising that rail passengers in England and Wales only travel if absolutely necessary in the record-breaking temperatures forecast from Monday (July 18).

Those who choose to travel despite the warning are being advised to check the status of their journey beforehand and ensure they are well-prepared for the extreme conditions.

Passengers are reminded to wear cool clothes, take handheld fans and ensure they have plenty of water to drink.

Jake Kelly, Network Rail’s System Operator group director, said:

“Rail passengers in England and Wales should only travel if necessary on Monday and Tuesday as there will be delays and cancellations to train services due to the unprecedented heat we’re expecting.

“The wellbeing of our passengers is our first priority so we’re asking all passengers who decide to travel to take time to prepare before leaving the house. Remember to bring a water bottle with you, along with whatever else you need to keep yourself well in the heat. Water bottles can be refilled for free at most Network Rail’s managed stations.

“Journeys will take significantly longer and delays are likely as speed restrictions are introduced to keep passengers and railway staff safe, so make sure to allow considerably more time to complete your journey and be prepared for very hot conditions."

Vulnerable passengers and those with health conditions are being advised to avoid travel altogether during this time.