Shropshire Star

Bridgnorth Cliff Railway closure: Council hits back at owner's claims

Bridgnorth Town Council has hit back at the owner of the town's cliff railway after he said the authority had "dragged their feet" over repairs to a damaged wall that saw the attraction close on health and safety grounds.

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Castle Terrace has been closed again as the new round of works at Bridgnorth Cliff Railway begin

Earlier this week, Malvern Tipping, who runs the stricken funicular railway, said he feared for his summer revenues after the planned six-week works to the wall had not yet started, despite being announced by the council on May 24.

He said: "I had expected to seek contractors making a start, especially as the council had stated to the press that it had anticipated having that work completed within six weeks.

"Unfortunately, when I visited, no start had been made. Yet again, the town council or its agents have dragged their feet over this matter."

New scaffolding has gone up at Bridgnorth Cliff Railway as new repairs set to begin

The repairs follow work to the wall conducted in April that fixed the initial damage that saw the cliff railway close on health and safety grounds before Christmas.

But during the works, contractors found further sections of the wall needed to be repaired before it could be ruled safe for the cliff railway to begin running again.

On Thursday contractors arrived in Bridgnorth and erected scaffolding, but the town council said work cannot not begin as they are waiting for Mr Tipping's signed approval.

Ongoing work at Bridgnorth Cliff Railway

In a statement, Bridgnorth Town Council said: "It has been disappointing to see, in local media reports, the continuing disparaging remarks made in regard to the ongoing repairs at the wall.

"A project of this magnitude requires not only engineering, technical and building expertise but also careful consideration to legal and related issues.

"Correspondence was sent to the Cliff Railway on May 31, and, at the time of writing, we are awaiting the operator's signature on certain items to allow us to continue - we are keen to move forward as quickly as possible.

"The next stretch of scaffolding has been erected but, unfortunately, the works cannot proceed without the relevant authorisation."

Ongoing work at Bridgnorth Cliff Railway

If completed within Bridgnorth Town Council's expected six-week time-frame, the work could see the Cliff Railway reopen by August.

Mr Tipping said he had received the town council's "party structure notice" which he has passed to his solicitor and is awaiting a response.

He added: "Surely, the Town Council does not expect us to sign what amounts to a legal document before we have taken appropriate legal advice when that document and the field which it covers is beyond our competence and understanding."