Transport for London (TfL) is advising customers to only travel if essential on Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 July, due to the high temperatures forecast.
The Met Office has issued its first ever red warning for high heat for parts of the UK, including London, with temperatures forecast to reach 40 degrees.
TfL are advising taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) licensees to take regular breaks, carry water with them, keep hydrated and ensure that they stop driving if they feel drowsy, tired or unwell.
The transport regulator has also urged cabbies to carry out regular vehicle checks, making sure that coolant, water and oil levels are optimal and that the windscreen washer jets are working. Tyres should also be checked frequently over the next few hot days to ensure they are correctly inflated. Drivers should also be mindful of glare from the sun affecting their vision.
TfL say they have in place a comprehensive hot weather plan to protect the transport network and keep services running and to keep staff and customer safe in the event of severe temperatures. However, due to the very high temperatures predicted, temporary speed restrictions will need to be introduced on parts of the Tube and Rail network on Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 July as a precaution, which will mean a reduced service and could mean journeys take longer than usual.
Travellers are also recommended to follow advice from the UK Heath Security Agency and avoid strenuous physical activity and therefore are advised to only use Santander Cycles for ESSENTIAL short journeys.
Very hot temperatures can affect rails, overhead power lines and signalling equipment. Track temperature checks are continuing to be carried out regularly across the Tube and rail networks to ensure they remain safe and that the track is not at risk of bending or buckling. TfL is also inspecting the air conditioning units on the Tube trains that cover 40 per cent of the Tube network, the trains on the Elizabeth Line and London Overground as well as the air cooling units on double-deck buses to ensure they are functioning well.
TfL also has response teams standing by on its rail and road network to deal with any issues as they occur, with an enhanced focus on stalled trains and times, crowding and customer advice.
Customers making essential journeys are advised to check before they travel, to carry water with them and not to board TfL services if they feel unwell. If customers do feel unwell, they should get off at the next stop and contact a member of staff or speak to the bus driver. Where possible, if journeys are essential, customers are advised to retime their journey and travel at quieter times.
Andy Lord, Chief Operating Officer, TfL said: “Due to the exceptionally hot weather that is expected next week, customers should only use London’s transport network for essential journeys. If customers do need to travel, they should check before they travel as we are expecting there to be some impact to Tube and rail services as a result of temporary speed restrictions we will need to introduce to keep everyone safe. It is also vital that customers always carry water at all times with them when travelling.”