Manchester weather: Transport for Greater Manchester issues new travel advice during heatwave

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Transport bosses say people should not travel unless absolutely necessary, with changes to Metrolink trams as temperatures soar.

Public transport bosses have advised Greater Manchester residents not to travel unless absolutely necessary for the next couple of days after the Met Office issued a red alert for heat.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) urged people to only make essential journeys on Monday (18 July) and Tuesday (19 July) and to remain hydrated when on the move.

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Temperatures in the city-region are expected to reach 35C or even higher on Tuesday, while experts have warned parts of England could be as hot as 40C.

A number of changes are being made to the Metrolink timetables, and drivers, walkers and cyclists have all been given advice.

How is the Metrolink tram system being altered to cope with the heatwave?

The Metrolink is running a 12-minute schedule on Monday and Tuesday, with double trams being put into operation.

This, TfGM hopes, will make the service as reliable as possible during the heatwave.

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Trams will also be running slightly slower than normal as very high temperatures can cause rails to buckle, TfGM said.

Public transport users are also being advised to allow extra time for journeys, carry water and a fan with them if possible, travel at quieter times when services are less busy if they can and look out for other passengers, offering them a seat if required.

Football fans who were heading to the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 match between Belgium and Italy at the Academy Stadium in Manchester on Monday evening were also advised to allow extra time for their journey and to check transport service details before leaving home.

Information is available on the TfGM website here.

Has the heatwave caused public transport problems?

TfGM said on Tuesday (19 July) that the temperatures affected overhead lines, meaning there were no Metrolink services on the Rochdale line between Monsall and Victoria in the afternoon. This followed the entire closure of the Rochdale line for a period earlier on Tuesday.

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There were also no tram services operating between Bury and Victoria on Tuesday (19 July). The temperatures on Monday (18 July) caused problems with the overhead lines and TfGM said there was too great a risk of passengers getting stranded on Tuesday with even hotter temperatures forecast.

Tickets were accepted on a variety of bus and rail services, and TfGM’s website was showing no heat-related incidents affecting travel on Wednesday (20 July).

What advice has been given to active travel users and drivers?

TfGM says drivers should check their tyres, make sure they have sunglasses if possible and keep an eye on the engine temperature.

They should also have plenty of water in their vehicles and never leave anyone alone in a closed, parked car, especially infants, young children and animals.

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TfGM also says roads may well be busier and journeys may take longer than usual over the next couple of days.

Cyclists and walkers are being advised to avoid travelling during the hottest parts of the day – between 11am and 3pm – to stay in the shade, apply sunscreen and take extra care to remain hydrated while on the move.

What has TfGM said?

Sean Dyball, head of customer experience at Transport for Greater Manchester, said: “It’s great to see the sun shining in Greater Manchester, but the extreme heat we are set to experience over the next few days can have a serious impact on both transport services and people’s health.

“Due to the extremely high temperatures expected, we are advising people not to travel during next week’s heatwave – on Monday 18 July and Tuesday 19 July - unless it is necessary.

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“If you do need to travel during the heatwave, please make sure you take plenty of water with you to stay hydrated and also allow extra time for your journey – just in case there are any delays on the roads or on the public transport networks.

“I’d also call on passengers to keep an eye out for more vulnerable travellers and offer people a seat if you see them struggling in the hot weather.”

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