Demand for air-conditioned hotel rooms soars as Britain braces for record 40C heat

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Cobra meeting called

Ministers ordered an emergency Cobra meeting on Saturday to prepare for Britain’s red alert heatwave, which is set to peak on Tuesday with an 80 per cent chance the temperature will exceed the UK record of 38.7C, set at Cambridge in 2019.

The first national heat-related health emergency has been issued by the UK Health Security Agency, meaning transport systems, food, water, energy supplies and businesses could be at risk.

There is a 50% chance that temperatures above 40C will be seen, likely along the A1 corridor, forecasters said.

As officials prepared contingency plans, Downing Street confirmed it was calling a third Cobra meeting this week. A government spokesman said: ‘The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Kit Malthouse, will chair a Cobra ministerial meeting on the heat wave response this afternoon.

It came as Londoners were told not to travel on Monday and Tuesday. Andy Lord, COO of Transport for London, said: “Due to unusually hot weather expected next week, customers should only use London’s transport network for essential journeys.

“If customers need to travel, they should check before traveling as we expect there will be an impact on metro and train services due to the temporary speed restrictions we will have to introduce to ensure the everyone’s safety. It is also essential that customers always have water with them when travelling.

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