Bristol weather: Heatwave travel disruption, children’s centre closure, water fountains and forecast - latest

An amber weather warning is in place until midnight tonight

Bristol is set for another one of its hottest days on record with the mercury expected to rise to 36C this afternoon (July 19) - as an extreme heat warning remains in place from the Met Office.

The high temperatures mean many people across the city are seeking shelter today while emergency services offer safety advice and travel companies report disruptions - people are being urged to travel only if ‘absolutely necessary’.

Meanwhile, the situation at the city’s schools means many pupils are in relaxed uniform. Just one city-council run children’s centre has been closed for the day.

The weather has also impacted businesses with shops even closing due to the extreme weather forecast.

And later, places like Conham River Park and Saltford will likely be busy with people looking to cool down with a dip in the River Avon - despite some concerns the river quality means it isn’t safe.

A group of people sit in the shade as the sun basks down on the harbourside in Bristol

Here’s the latest:

Travel disruption

Travel companies have warned against people using public transport, unless it is ‘absolutely necessary’ today.

GWR has a revised timetable in operation and has warned passengers that trains are likely to be busy. The operator has also said there could be speed restrictions in place to ensure ‘the safe running of trains’.

At some stations, free water bottles are being provided by the operator.

South Western Railway has adviced passengers to carry water with them and not to board a train if feeling unwell.

On the buses, First West of England has urged those travelling to remain hydrated, wear loose clothing and travel at quieter times, if they can.

Bus drivers are also being allowed to ditch their uniform this week due to the heat.

People in the city centre

Plenty of people were pictured out in the city centre braving the intense heat today - even joggers and cyclists were spotted exercising as temperatures hit 30C this afternoon.

Still the city’s streets, even for a Monday, are looking quieter than normal with many choosing to stay inside or sticking to shaded areas.

The roads are as busy as ever though, with bus services running as normal. Shops in Broadmead and Cabot Circus are also open as normal.

Elderly couple John and Carol told BristolWorld: “We came out for an early morning walk and it wasn’t so bad then, but now it’s getting really hot and we’ve decided to go home to be on the safe side.”

School closures

There is no specific law that concerns school closures during a heatwave - and it appears the decision is down to the local authority or the specific school.

The Department for Education said it wasn’t advising schools to close during high temperatures, but added ‘school leaders should make sure they take any steps necessary to make sure children are safe and comfortable’.

A Bristol City Council spokesperson said: “It is up to individual schools to decide whether to close or not.”

Today, one education setting has closed - Badocks Wood Children’s Centre in Southmead.

The Gaol Ferry Bridge - rarely is it so empty

Businesses

While many non-retail businesses may be allowing workers to stay at home today, shops don’t have that choice.

And in Wapping Wharf, where some of the stores are located in metal cargo containers, bosses have made a decision not to open today.

They include the owners of fashion shop Frankly and restaurant and bar Wild Beer.

In an Instagram post, Wild Beer said: “Due to the extreme weather forecast, we have made the decision to close for the wellbeing of our team. Stay safe, hydrate and enjoy the shade!”

Public services

Due to the heat, some public services such as librares are also impacted.

Stockwood library is closed all day, while St George and Westbury are not able to provide extended access, but are open as normal during staffed hours.

The council said: “Due to the excessive heat we regret that we will have to adjust some of our branch opening hours.”

Water fountains

Those brave enough to ventue into the city centre today can take advantage of water fountains to refill bottles.

As part of a scheme called Refill Revolution, fountains are positioned in the following locations:

  • Christmas Steps
  • The College Green
  • The Promenade
  • Millennium Square
  • Queens Square
  • Broadmead (x3)

The scheme is led by BristolWater which has been experiencing supply issues due to the hot weather. It has warned of lower pressure levels, and a potential change in the taste of the water.

Forecast for the week

The Met Office’s amber warning will remain in place for Bristol until tomorrow at midnight - this means there is a threat of serious illness and even danger to life due to the high heats.

Today, the temperature will peak at 36C from 3pm to 6pm, according to the Met Office.

Map showing the weather warnings across the UK - Bristol is under an amber warning

For the rest of the week:

Tuesday, July 19 - Peak at 33C at 12noon

Wednesday, July 20 - Peak at 24C at 4pm

Thursday, July 21 - Peak at 23C from 4pm to 7pm

Friday, July 22 - Peak at 22C at 4pm