Alton Towers defends ride closures after Smiler crash

Alton Towers insist temporary ride closures in the wake of the Smiler crash are at normal levels despite complaints from visitors.

Alton Towers defends ride closures after Smiler crash

Park-goers have claimed that since the venue was re-opened after the tragic rollercoaster collision on June 2 they have queued up for more than an hour for some attractions only to see them shut with no prior warning for safety testing.

Some have declared the issue was so bad that Alton Towers should lower the price of admission.

But theme park bosses have rebuffed claims they are closing more rides than usual and added that the extra scrutiny and attention on the park was creating a false impression.

A spokeswoman said: "Alton Towers puts the health and safety of its guests at the forefront of everything it does, which means that from time to time rides will be closed to allow for technical issues to be reviewed.

"We do understand that this can be inconvenient for our guests and we will keep them as informed as we are able to throughout any delays, but we will not operate a ride if there is any suggestion of a safety compromise.

"It is natural that given the current circumstances, our guests are more focused on any minor delay or technical stoppage, but all of the rides undergo comprehensive pre-opening checks and any delays that we are experiencing now are within our expected level.

"All issues will be dealt with according to our stringent processes and rides will reopen as appropriate."

An extra set of safety protocols has been introduced to the multi-car rollercoasters at the Uttoxeter-based attraction.

Park staff have been hastily answering questions about temporary ride closures on their Twitter feed @altontowers and have also been directing visitors to ridetimes.co.uk for information about delays on the major attractions.

Yesterday Sonic Spinball and Nemesis Sub-Terra were shut for temporary periods as was Ripsaw for maintenance.

While Alton Towers will still not be drawn on whether the Smiler will ever re-open.

Mr Paul Paxton, representing three of the most seriously injured victims of the crash, said last week health and safety inspectors confirmed the possibility that the £18million rollercoaster may remain permanently shut.

The Alton Towers spokeswoman added: "The Smiler will be closed for the foreseeable future.

"The Health and Safety Executive investigation is still ongoing and until this is complete no decisions will be made on the future of the ride."

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