Flights have been cancelled and rail travellers face delays after the UK experienced record temperatures, thunderstorms and heavy rainfall.

East Midlands Trains (EMT) told people to expect a significantly reduced service in and out of London at the weekend after serious damage was caused to an overhead line, while the rate of arrivals was restricted at airports.

Rail passengers were told to check before embarking on their journeys and advised not to travel on the London St Pancras-Nottingham-Sheffield route. Meanwhile, replacement coaches and revised timetables were in place after industrial action taken by senior conductors from the RMT union over pay and working conditions.

On Saturday, EMT apologised to passengers and advised that the ongoing disruption to services on the Midland mainline route to London would continue during the weekend

“We’re sorry to everybody who has experienced disrupted journeys over the past two days,” Jake Kelly, EMT managing director, said. “We do have a significantly reduced timetable in place on our London route over the weekend and our advice for customers is to avoid travelling on this route wherever possible and make alternative arrangements”

St Pancras station in London has been severely disrupted since Friday, after Eurostar services were cancelled and overhead line equipment near West Hampstead was damaged.

Air traffic control operator Nats said a technical problem with a system at Swanwick air traffic control centre was identified shortly after noon, which had restricted the rate of arrivals. A Heathrow spokesman said the technical issue, which caused a number of cancellations, had since been resolved. “We apologise to passengers for any disruption that this caused.”

Gatwick said: “We aim to run a normal schedule [on Saturday], however due to ongoing adverse weather across Europe, passengers are advised to check with their airlines for the latest information.”

It comes after the UK recorded maximum temperatures of 38.1C (100.6F) on Thursday – the second hottest day on record. The Met Office is investigating whether the 38.5C all-time record from 2003 has been surpassed, after it received a provisional recording of 38.7C at Cambridge Botanic Garden, before the weather turned to downpours and storms.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for rain, which covers vast swaths of Scotland and England, with the exception of the south-west region, until Sunday afternoon.


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