Motorists warned to plan their journey ahead of another hot weekend

13/7/13- Crowded beach at Hastings.
13/7/13- Crowded beach at Hastings.

As the heatwave continues across East Sussex, police are advising motorists to extra care.

Temperatures across the south-east hit around 26c today while te warm weather is expected to continue throughout the weekend with maximum temperatures dipping to around 21c.

In the wake of the heatwave, Sussex Police are warning motorists to be careful.

Inspector James Biggs from Sussex Police’s Roads Policing Unit said: “As the heatwave continues into the weekend we are urging motorists to plan their journeys and ensure they are comfortable and safe.

“Temperatures are expected to remain around 28°C and a Level Three heatwave alert issued by the Met Office is urging people to protect themselves from the possible health effects hot weather can have.

“We are expecting a busy few days on the roads of Sussex with about 25,000 people making their way to the Gentleman of the Road Stopover festival in Lewes tomorrow (Friday) and on Saturday. Others will be travelling to local events and beaches and there is the traditional start of the school holidays big get away.

“I would ask you to plan your journey, make sure your vehicle is roadworthy and check all the fluid levels. Be prepared for delays and make sure you have plenty of water with you before setting out on any journey.

“It is unclear how long the hot weather will last so we would remind you to check on your more vulnerable neighbours to ensure they’re OK.”

Meanwhile South East Water is supporting the message from turf experts that homeowners need not worry about a brown lawn during the summer.

Tim Mudge, Chief Executive of the Turf Growers Association, said: “Going brown is the natural survival mechanism of grass. When water is in short supply grass responds by shutting down. The brown colour shows that it has stopped growing until more favourable conditions return. Grass is remarkably resilient, and as long as you follow a few basic rules, most lawns will recover completely when the rain finally arrives.”

Paul Seeley, Operations Director at South East Water, said: “We are pleased to say our water resources are in a good position this summer. We have, unsurprisingly, seen water use increase in the hot weather, but our teams are working hard to make sure we keep up with demand.

“The important thing during this hot weather is to keep yourself and those plants that really need the water hydrated – but leave your lawn to look after itself, nature is a wonderful thing and it will bounce back when the rain inevitably returns.”

Also, pet owners are being used to protect their animals from the heat. “Keeping your pet cool in the summer is an essential part of being a responsible pet owner,” said Maeve Moorcroft, Head of Pets at Pets at Home.

“While some independent animals like cats will naturally find their own cool, shady spots when they get too hot, others aren’t so proactive.“

Among their top tips are:

1. Daily Brushing - Brush cat or dogs’ fur on a daily basis to avoid matted hair which traps heat

2. Take Cover - Keep tanks and cages in the coolest, shadiest room in the house, away from direct sunlight. At the same time, avoid pointing fans directly at the cage, as this could make them too cold. Hutch covers are also useful for pets that are kept outside

3. Cool Runnings - Pets that need walking should be taken during the coolest part of the day, that is early morning or evening. Remember that too much heat can tire us all out and that counts for pets too, so they might not want to walk as far or play as much as usual. And never leave them in a hot car

4. Hydration - Make sure any pet, no matter what type, has access to lots of cold, fresh water to keep hydrated and cool. If you are travelling, or just taking them out into the sunshine, be sure to stock up on cooling spray

5. Regular Checks – Rabbits in particular can be prone to flystrike at this time of the year – where flies lay eggs on faeces-stained skin and fur. The best way to avoid it is to regularly check for dirty bottoms

“The most important thing to do is to keep an eye on your pet. If you notice any changes in their appearance or behaviour, don’t hesitate to contact your vet,” added Maeve Moorcroft. “Following these tips will help to ensure your pets get to enjoy the sunshine just as much as you this summer.”