Victoria Embankment has been closed by police following the discovery of a "suspicious package" in Embankment Gardens.

The Westminster park has been closed by police, along with reports that Victoria Embankment, the road which runs alongside the River Thames , has also been closed.

Embankment Gardens is at the heart of Westminster and is located close to Whitehall as well as several major tourist attractions and Embankment Tube station as well as Charing Cross station.

Metropolitan Police confirmed the park's closure and said that it was caused by a suspicious package being discovered.

The closures began at 3.39pm and both the London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service have been called out to the scene.

Several other road closures and cordons are also in place while police deal with the incident.

Keep following our live blog for the latest details on the incident.

Other roads affected by traffic

TfL has said traffic on a number of roads is still affected after the key central London route was closed by police.

The roads include:

  • A302 Westminster Bridge (SW1A) (All Directions)
  • Derby Gate (SW1A) (All Directions)
  • Horse Guards Avenue (SW1A) (All Directions)
  • [A3211] Hungerford Bridge (SW1A,WC2N) (All Directions)
  • [A400] Northumberland Avenue (WC2N) (All Directions)
  • Richmond Terrace (SW1A) (All Directions)
  • [A3211] Victoria Embankment (SW1A,WC2N) (Both Directions)

Traffic expected to persist

Victoria Embankment is set to continue to experience delays even after the road has been reopened.

The busy road, coupled with both rush hour and the Thames Tideway ‘SuperSewer’ works causing lane closures, may experience congestion throughout the evening.

What police said

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said:

A controlled explosion was carried out at the scene at 4.40pm.

The package was ruled not suspicious.

The incident has now been stood down.

Package 'not suspicious'

The package, which social media reports suggest may have been a backpack left behind at the popular park, has been ruled not suspicious by police.

The incident has been fully stood down, police say.

Controlled explosion carried out

A spokeswoman for Metropolitan Police has confirmed a controlled explosion was carried out at Embankment Gardens.

The explosion took place at the scene at 4.40pm.

Picture from the scene

Here is what Embankment looked like moments ago after it was cordoned off by police near Big Ben.

Westminster Bridge is shut as police have set up a cordon
Westminster Bridge is shut as police have set up a cordon (Image: @DAtherton94 / Twitter)

Closures removed

TfL has tweeted that the road closure at Victoria Embankment and Northumberland Avenue have been removed.

It is still not clear whether the incident has been fully stood down or if other roads remain closed.

Full police statement

Here is Metropolitan Police’s full statement on the incident at Embankment

Police were called at approximately 15:39hrs on Wednesday, 17 October to reports of a suspicious package at Embankment Gardens, SW1.

Officers, LAS and LFB are in attendance.

Cordons and road closures have been put in place.

Enquiries continue.

"Expect long delays and congestion"

TfL has warned drivers and commuters to brace themselves for hours of delays.

Several major roads in the area have been shut.

What we know so far

At 3.39pm Metropolitan Police were called about a suspicious package in Embankment Gardens, a park on the River Thames.

Embankment Gardens, one of the city’s busiest roads, which runs along the river from Parliament to Tower Bridge, has been closed in both directions by police.

Several other local roads are subjected to closures and cordons.

The area is highly sensitive and is near both Whitehall and Portcullis House, an extension of the Houses of Parliament, as well as being a major touristic hub.