Storm Ciara: All Royal Parks to close on Sunday as 'danger to life' amber warnings issued

8 February 2020, 17:19 | Updated: 8 February 2020, 17:21

Richmond Park will be closed
Richmond Park will be closed. Picture: PA / Met Office

London's major parks will be closed on Sunday due to safety fears as Storm Ciara is set to batter Britain.

Parks including Hyde Park, Richmond Park, Kensington Gardens and Green Park will be closed over the weekend.

Strong winds of up to 80mph have been predicted over the weekend, with further weather warnings in place across the whole country.

Northern England and Wales are likely to be hit by flooding to homes and businesses, with people being warned of "damage to buildings", including broken tiles.

The strongest winds are expected to be in the south of England and up to eight inches of snow is expected to fall in Scotland.

Bushy Park, The Green Park, Greenwich Park, The Regent's Park & Primrose Hill, Richmond Park and St James's Park will also be shut.

In addition, Brompton Cemetery and Victoria Tower Gardens will also remain closed.

The Royal Parks has said it is concerned about its "significant population of ancient and veteran trees that are vulnerable to high winds," and has taken this rare measure to protect public safety.

All parks will reopen on Monday, as soon as it is deemed safe to do so, the statement continued.

The Met Office has also warned that "rail, air and ferry services may be affected", and that roads and bridges may need to be closed.

Coastal towns have been given "danger to life" warnings over large coastal waves throwing debris onto roads and houses.

People are also being warned of possible power outages.

Trains passengers are urged to only travel on Sunday if their journey is "absolutely necessary."

Network Rail urged people living near rail lines to tie down or clear away garden furniture and trampolines.Passengers travelling on Sunday and Monday morning are urged to check for updates before they travel.

They are warning that strong winds have the potential to damage overhead electric wires and tracks due to debris or trees falling onto the railway.

Reduced timetables and speed restrictions are in place across rail networks.

The London Winter Run 10k event - due to be attended by 25,000 runners - was also cancelled after organisers said they were "not able to guarantee the safety of our runners, crew and volunteers."

The Met Office has also updated its yellow alert for wind to an amber, warning of "very strong winds" in the South of England.

The rest of Britain has yellow warnings for winds from midday on Saturday as powerful gusts of 60mph hit most of the country.

Rain warnings are in place on Sunday for south and north Wales, Cumbria and Lancashire, southern Scotland and Northern Ireland with up to 80mm of rain (3.1 inches) expected.

The average rainfall in South Wales for the whole of February is 85mm (3.3 inches).

Bad weather is due on carry on through Monday and Tuesday with blizzards conditions and up to eight inches of snow expected in Scotland.

Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said: “It is going to be more significant than the other two storms we have seen this season.

“In terms of widespread effect, the last one it is on a par with was in 2013. Everybody will feel some effects from it."