Express & Star

Bridgnorth Cliff Railway to offer locals free trips when attraction finally reopens next month

The boss of Bridgnorth's Cliff Railway has pledged to give the town's residents free travel when the attraction finally reopens next month as a 'thank you' for their support over the many months it has been closed.

Malvern Tipping at the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway

The town's funicular train is set to reopen on Monday, March 4 having been closed for more than 14 months as repairs to a damaged retaining wall were carried out by the town council.

Malvern Tipping, whose family owns and runs the railway, said that in the first week of its reopening, all local people will be able to travel for free - and paying passengers will be able to use card payments for the first time.

He told the Shropshire Star: "As a way of thanking local passengers for their forbearance, the cliff railway is delighted to offer all of those who can show either a WV15 or a WV16 postal address free travel from Monday, March 4 until Friday, March 8.

"The offer is only open to local residents as it is a way of thanking them for sticking with us throughout this most challenging and dispiriting of times."

The Bridgnorth Cliff Railway

He said that any form of ID such as a utility bill will allow people to travel between Low Town and High Town free of charge from Monday's reopening day, but he added that the cliff railway may be in action even earlier.

"The cliff railway will certainly be running a full service from 9am on Monday, March 4, but if we can get sufficient staff cover, we would like to run on Saturday, March 2, but several staff members have already arranged holidays for that day," Mr Tipping said.

Passengers will also be able to buy tickets using bank cards for the first time at the 130-year-old railway when it is up and running.

"We had resisted it for a long time because the use of plastic cards somehow seemed to diminish the romance of old-time travel, which we have tried to conserve," Mr Tipping said. "However, the recent Covid pandemic, in particular, has changed the way in which so many people make payments even for the smallest of items.

"Nonetheless, passengers can be assured that the old-style ticketing machines, which are about a century old, will remain in use so as to enhance the experience of travelling on the cliff railway."

He added that he wished also to thank his staff, many of whom returned to the railway after they were made redundant, and the owner expressed his thanks to local businesses for their support too.

"Many old faces are returning. My family and I wish to thank them from the bottoms of our hearts, because without their support and encouragement, we would have thrown in the towel months ago," he said.

"Not only are we grateful to our fantastic team of staff, who are totally dedicated to the cliff railway, in what is very humbling for my family, but we are most appreciative of the messages of support from our passengers and of the support given to us by local businesses.

"We realise that the operation of the cliff railway makes a massive difference to the footfall of many of those businesses."