Bridgnorth Cliff Railway boss accuses council of 'dragging their feet' over wall repairs

The owner of the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway has accused the town council and its contractor of 'dragging their feet' over repairs to a wall that has left the attraction shut since last year.

Malvern Tipping with Cliff Railway engineer Barry Evans inspecting the retaining wall
Malvern Tipping with Cliff Railway engineer Barry Evans inspecting the retaining wall

Malvern Tipping, who runs the funicular train that was closed in December over health and safety concerns, says he now fears for the summer season due to the lengthy delays.

Last month, Bridgnorth Town Council announced it had finished initial repairs to the damaged retaining wall that closed the Cliff Railway in December.

The May 24 announcement outlined a new raft of repairs further along the wall to ensure its safety - work that it said would take around six weeks.

But Mr Tipping says more than two weeks on from the announcement and the work is yet to start.

He said: "Since I had been given to believe that the Town Council had authorised the commencement of work to the second section of the retaining wall, 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.

"There is absolutely no way in which they will now meet their own six-week deadline."

When the Cliff Railway was closed before Christmas, which saw 14 of its 16 staff made redundant, it had been hoped the attraction would be up and running again by Easter.

Now with the further delays, Mr Tipping says he now fears for his revenues over the summer.

"I did write to the Town Council last week requesting that the work be completed expeditiously, because we needed to receive the July and August peak season passenger revenues with which to subsidise any lean periods during the winter. Clearly, that is not going to happen now," he said

"We pride ourselves on trying to provide an all-year passenger service for locals wherever possible.

"However, it seems that with delay after delay caused by others, there seems to be precious little momentum by others to get us up and running anytime soon. Do they want us to succeed or do they want us to fail?"

Bridgnorth Town Council has been approached for comment.

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