First Bus drivers allowed to ditch uniform as ‘extreme heat’ hits this week

First Bus will allow its drivers to dress down as the heatwave brings sweltering temperatures closing in on 40C in the next two days. The decision has been taken to ease uniform restrictions to ensure drivers are as cool as possible in their cabs.

The bus operator, which launched a new ‘tap on tap off’ payment system in Bristol today (Sunday, July 17), has relaxed its rules ahead of potentially record-breaking heat tomorrow and Tuesday. The Met Office is currently predicting sweltering highs of 35C in Bristol, Bath and much of the region on Monday.

In a tweet this morning, First Bus West of England advised: “Due to the Amber Weather Warning Alert between Sunday and Tuesday we have relaxed our driver uniform standards to allow them to be more comfortable during the hot weather. If you are travelling please ensure you carry water with you during these hot days.”

Read more: Live updates as ‘extreme heat’ warning comes info force

A Met Office amber weather warning for “extreme heat” is now in force across the majority of the UK including in Bristol and Somerset. Temperatures in our region are set to surge to almost 30C today (Sunday, July 17) ahead of even hotter temperatures tomorrow and Tuesday that could potentially be record-breaking, and people have been urged to only travel where necessary.

Temporary changes are being made to over 30 different services from April 24.
A First Bus in Bristol
(Image: David Betts Photography)

The amber warning is in place in our area until 11.59pm on Tuesday, while the warning in some other areas of the country will be upgraded to an unprecedented red warning tomorrow as temperatures surge closer to 40C. Today’s warning states: “A hot spell is likely to develop from Sunday, likely peaking early next week, leading to widespread impacts on people and infrastructure.

“Population-wide adverse health effects are likely to be experienced, not limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat, leading to potential serious illness or danger to life…substantial changes in working practices and daily routines likely to be required.

“Significantly more people are likely to visit coastal areas, lakes and rivers leading to increased risk of water safety incidents. Delays on roads and road closures are possible, along with delays and cancellations to rail and air travel, with potential for significant welfare issues for those who experience even moderate delays.”

First Bus operates in many locations around the country including in Bristol, Bath and other parts of the West of England. It is among many workplaces relaxing uniform rules in response to the forecast, with some schools also allowing pupils to attend in their PE kits to stay cool.

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