Travelling with us in hot weather
In the height of summer, the hot weather can make travelling - by any means - uncomfortable. Here are a few tips for keeping cool when using our buses during a heatwave, based on the NHS's advice for staying cool:
Check weather forecasts or alerts on TV radio or social media before going out. Remember, the hottest part of the day is between 11:00 and 15:00. Make sure you have enough supplies with you, such as food, water and any medications you need.
Carry water with you:
It seems pretty obvious, but it’s important to drink lots of fluids when you’re out in high temperatures. Your body needs water to function properly, so why not put a couple of bottles in the freezer overnight so they stay cool throughout your journey. Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) or drinks high in sugar.
Invest in a small hand-held battery fan:
They are not often popular in the UK, but the small hand battery fans can be life-savers when you are struggling with the heat on a bus. If you really want to splash out you can get one that sprays a cooling mist for those extra hot days.
Dress light and loose:
Another obvious one, but it’s best to choose light fabrics in light colours as dark colours actually absorb the sun’s heat and stay warmer. It’s also best to avoid fabrics like polyester, Rayon and wool, opting instead for cotton or linen. If you can get away with wearing shorts at work then go for it! Protect yourself with sunglasses and a sun hat. Use sunscreen or sun block to reduce the risk of sunburn.
If you feel unwell get off at the next stop:
Being in an enclosed space in high temperatures is never nice. So if there's time and you are struggling with the soaring heat you might decide to get off at your next stop and get some fresh air or a cold drink.
Apply cold compresses to pulse points:
Applying cold compresses to your wrists, neck, elbows can help you cool down quickly and is a simple tip for the morning commute to work. You could use a handkerchief or flannel soaked in cold water. Or even get an ice pack from the freezer before you leave in the morning and apply away! If your work has a freezer you can then do the same during the day and on the way home.
What we’re doing to help:
We’re continuing to invest in brand new vehicles and we stipulate that they all include the maximum number of opening windows, tinted windows and ventilation to keep air moving. This should achieve the best possible result for our customers.
Frequently asked Questions
Why is it hot on the bus?
The simple answer is because it’s hot outside and like in your home, you feel the heat when you’re inside too. Unlike your home (but maybe like your greenhouse if you’re a gardener), our buses have a large number of windows in a confined area, which results in them heating up quickly.
Why does it feel like the heating is on?
The ventilation on our buses helps to keep fresh ambient air moving through the bus, which prevents the air becoming too close and stagnant. This works in the same way as a fan in your home or office and keeps the air moving. However, if the ambient temperature is 30°C then that will be the temperature of the air being circulated. This may feel like the air is being heated but it isn’t (other than by the sun!).
Why can’t there be more open windows?
We specify the maximum number of opening windows possible. This is largely driven by bus window glass being manufactured in standard sizes and buses have to have some non-standard sized windows as dictated by the length and structure of the bus (which is heavily legislated). We don’t have opening side windows at the very front of buses as they don’t achieve anything. The front of the bus is very flat and this pushes the air out of the way as it goes down the road. This results in there being no air to flow through the windows at the very front of the bus. Instead, we install blown air vents at the front of the bus.
Why is there no Air Conditioning?
Just as in a car, air conditioning takes a substantial amount of energy out of the engine. The power needed to provide air conditioning in the customer area of the big buses we use would be so great that a larger engine would be required and bigger wheels to cope with the extra weight. This would consume more fuel, generate more emissions and also reduce the number of seats for customers on the bus. It might even lead to higher fares. As our British summers are only for a few weeks a year (if we’re lucky!) it is neither economically or environmentally viable to upgrade our fleet in this way.
We pride ourselves on having one of the lowest-emission fleets in the UK and we’re committed to ensuring this remains the case. The extra greenhouse gases we’d be creating through the additional fuel use would cause unnecessary harm to the environment. Again, for the few weeks of the year it’s needed, we’re afraid the cons far outweigh the pros.
On a practical level, it wouldn’t work!
Buses in towns and cities which make regular stops and open their doors frequently (unlike longer distance services and coaches that go some distance between stops) air conditioning just wouldn’t work on a practical level. The cooler air would leave the bus every time people got on or off the bus and be replaced by the hotter external air.