‘Extraordinary weather’ forces Alton Towers closure

Alton Towers today closed its theme park less than 90 minutes after opening, citing “extraordinary weather” in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

A Facebook posting from the park’s operators Merlin Entertainments said: “This is an almost unprecedented action and not one that the Resort has taken lightly.

“The health, safety and welfare of guests and staff is the prime concern,” it added.

The park closed at approximately 11:20am, following “issues” in the woodland areas and an inability to operate the park’s major rollercoasters.

Strong winds and heavy rain have swept across much of the UK during Wednesday.

A power failure was reported and The Flume water ride was allegedly affected by flying branches.

The park has offered guests in attendance the opportunity to return to the park free of charge before the school summer holidays.

Alton Towers and its rides are typically resistant to adverse weather conditions, but it is not the first time this year that rides have been affected.

During the February half-term opening, several rollercoasters were inoperational in near-freezing conditions during the opening weekend.

Merlin said that the park was expected to re-open as usual on Thursday.