Storm Ciarán: Preparation underway on the coasts, roads and railways across the South

Two amber warnings, the second highest level of alert, are in place stretching from Portsmouth and the Island up to Kent from 6am tomorrow. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Storm Ciaran is set to bring a fresh bout of wind and rain to the South coast - with "danger to life" amber weather warnings issued for Thursday.

It follows a week of extreme weather that has seen flooding on the Isle of Wight and in Sussex.

Two amber warnings, the second highest level of alert, are in place stretching from Portsmouth and the Island up to Kent from 6am tomorrow.

Met Office spokesman Oli Claydon said the storm is forming on Wednesday evening, with coastal gusts of 70mph to 80mph and the potential for 85mph.

People are being urged not to go near the water's edge due to "very dangerous conditions".

Meanwhile, due to the severe weather, more than 40 schools across Southampton and a handful across Hampshire will be closed.

What is the message for travelling by train?

Rail passengers are being urged to check before travelling as the storm could mean longer or cancelled journeys.

Great Western Railway says any localised flooding and fallen trees could see parts of the network cancelled or altered at short notice.

South Western trains will run at reduced speeds today. Times will be amended, with some services suspended.

Southeastern Railway says disruption to train services is "highly likely" late tonight and also tomorrow. It will slow trains down and may need to close some routes.

Around Brighton where the Amber warning is in place, the advice for customers on Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink routes is:

  • Do not attempt to travel on routes to, from or around the South Coast on Thursday 2 November.

  • People are advised to work from home if they can.

  • There is a strong risk of fallen trees and debris being blown onto the tracks, with major disruption likely to the service from Wednesday evening and in particular on Thursday morning.

  • Where lines are closed due to the storm it's unlikely that staff will be able to provide rail replacement transport.

  • Brighton to London will have a significantly reduced service on Thursday, specifically don't attempt to travel from Brighton toward London during Thursday's morning peak

What is the advice for travelling by boat and visiting coastlines?

Isle of Wight ferries have cancelled six overnight crossings on its Portsmouth to Fishbourne route.

They are the 22:00, 23:59 and 03:00 departures from Portsmouth and 23:00, 01:00 and 04:00 from Fishbourne.

Wightlink has apologised to all customers booked on those sailings and moved them to alternative crossings.

All other services are expected to run normally. Should things change, Wightlink’s website and smartphone App will be updated with the latest information.

Meanwhile, the RNLI says the rough weather could make visiting coastline treacherous, bringing dangerous sea conditions.The charity says around 150 lose their lives accidentally in UK waters annually - with more than half not planning on entering.

The Environment Agency is warning people to keep away from coastal paths, piers and promenades.

Worthing Pier has been closed.

What is the message for drivers on the road?

Drivers in the South East are being warned there is a "high risk" of some vehicles being blown over tomorrow as Storm Ciarán brings strong winds and rain.

A spokesperson for National Highways said: "There is a particularly high risk that high-sided vehicles and other 'vulnerable' vehicles such as caravans and motorbikes could be blown over. 

"If planning to travel road users are advised to plan ahead, you may wish to delay your journey."

Motorists are advised to follow National Highs advice for travelling in severe weather.

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