Health warnings as UK goes tropical
With temperatures warm enough to soften tarmac coinciding with the start of the school summer holidays in some areas, the AA is warning of traffic disruption over the next few days.
Schools in Scotland have already finished for summer with most in England and Wales breaking up either tomorrow or next week.
The AA is expecting a significant increase in breakdowns, mostly due to overheating, and will have extra patrols working on key routes. It is also temporarily relocating some patrols to the South-west of England for summer.
If you have any underlying issues with your car’s cooling system, you'll quickly come unstuck in these conditions, so check your coolant level and operation of the cooling fan before heading off
Mark Spowage, AA patrol of the year
Mark Spowage, AA patrol of the year, says: "It's going to be a hot and sticky time on the roads, literally in some places, as these temperatures can soften tarmac and make them uneven.
"If you have any underlying issues with your car’s cooling system, you'll quickly come unstuck in these conditions, so check your coolant level and operation of the cooling fan before heading off. If your car starts to overheat, the most effective way of temporarily dealing with it is to turn the heater up full and the air conditioning on.
"High temperatures also aggravate any existing damage to your tyres, so check the pressures and condition.
"As well as checking the car, keep everyone well hydrated – not forgetting water for any pets – and plan in regular stops, at least every three hours. If you're travelling to the coast, try to leave early to beat the worst of the jams and get a parking space; or use park and ride facilities where possible."
The AA is also advising drivers to stay tuned to local radio for traffic and weather updates, as heavy thunderstorms are forecast to cause localised flooding.
Mark Spowage continues: "Changing conditions on Saturday will bring torrential thundery showers in places. While they are likely to be short-lived, water will quickly run off causing localised flash flooding as well as making the roads pretty slippery. Keep your speed down and don’t risk driving through flood water."
The AA wants to make this summer the best ever for drivers. The 'Summer Saviours' campaign is a series of special summer events, competitions and offers, which includes the chance to win one of three VW California camper vans. Prizes can also be won if people spot a limited-edition 'flower power' AA van.
AA patrols and Land Rover crews are attending this week’s Latitude Festival, Suffolk, and the Farnborough International Airshow, Hampshire. As well as providing breakdown assistance, patrols are giving out free Uvistat suncream and bottled water.
(17 July 2014)