'Extinction Rebellion are right' say Leeds sunbathers as temperatures hit 36 degrees

Sam Groom, aged 21 (left) and Greg McVey, aged 24 (right) enjoying the heatwave in Leeds.
Sam Groom, aged 21 (left) and Greg McVey, aged 24 (right) enjoying the heatwave in Leeds.
0
Have your say

Sunbathers in Leeds soaked up the scorching heatwave today, but some people are concerned that the unusual weather is proof of a climate emergency.

Temperatures will hit 36C by 3pm and the Met Office has issued another thunderstorm warning for this afternoon.

Sunbathers enjoying the heatwave on Park Square.

Sunbathers enjoying the heatwave on Park Square.

The unusual weather is concerning some residents, who say the extreme heat justifies last week's Extinction Rebellion protests.

Activists blocked Victoria Bridge causing five days of traffic disruption, urging the government and Leeds Council to do more to stop climate change.

-> Extinction Rebellion protests RECAP IN PICTURES

Sam Groom, aged 21, works in recruitment at Leeds City Station and was enjoying the sun on his lunch break, but thinks the protesters were justified.

25-year-old Bella Quirin enjoying the sunshine near Leeds Art Gallery.

25-year-old Bella Quirin enjoying the sunshine near Leeds Art Gallery.

He said: "I like the heatwave but it's a bit too hot after even half an hour of sitting in the sun.

"It's annoying being stuck at work because you really want to be abroad when the weather is like this, not sitting in the office.

"But it's a good excuse to get in the beer garden and it's payday tomorrow - so I'll be sitting out all day.

"I get the protests and I understand why they're doing it. People say they don't believe in climate change but this weather speaks for itself.

Leeds sunbathers enjoy the scorching heatwave as temperatures hit 36 degrees.

Leeds sunbathers enjoy the scorching heatwave as temperatures hit 36 degrees.

"Something needs to be done, at least someone is caring about the environment while we're sat here in the sun!"

Another sunbather, 25-year-old Bella Quirin, was enjoying the weather outside Leeds Art Gallery but agreed that the heat was alarming.

She said: "I love this weather, I think we should make the most of it as we never know when it is going to go.

"But we can't ignore that this is climate change, I think the protesters are right. This is not normal, it's 35 degrees today and still 25 tomorrow.

"That's not normal, at all. It's an emergency and we need to do something about it".

-> Leeds is hotter than these 10 holiday destinations around the world today

The heatwave has caused travel disruption throughout the week, with rail tracks expanding and buckling under the heat.

LNER advised passengers to avoid all travel today and ran a restricted timetable from Leeds Station.

Ros Lloyd, aged 67, was trying to return home to Suffolk after a holiday in Leeds, but her train was cancelled.

She said: "We looked it up this morning and saw that all the trains via Peterborough had been cancelled, so I had to book a train going through Grantham instead.

"I'm not complaining through as I have loved my holiday here.

"It's been hotter up here in Leeds than down in Suffolk, much to my family's disgust!"

The scorching heat is not expected to last, as the Met Office has issued a yellow warning for rain this weekend.

-> Heatwave over: Weather warning as extreme heavy rain forecast for Leeds this weekend

Heavy downpours are set to hit Leeds on Saturday afternoon and temperatures will drop below 20 degrees.

The downpours are expected to continue overnight and into Sunday morning, which could cause flooding and travel disruption.

In the warning, the Met Office said that homes and businesses could be flooded, or damaged by lighting strikes.

They said: "There is a small chance of fast flowing or deep floodwater.

"Where flooding occurs, there is a slight chance of delays or cancellations to train and bus services.

"Spray and flooding could lead to difficult driving conditions and some road closures".

-> 13 reasons why Leeds is the world's best summer city