Alton Towers opening times reduced for 2012 season

Alton Towers has trimmed the length of its opening times for much of its operational season in 2012.

Ride queues will close as early as 4pm during term-time weekdays in March, April, May, October and September.

The changes represent a reduction of one hour on closure times of last season, as does the new 6pm closure during the peak summer months.

The move is widely seen as a cost-cutting measure and is likely to attract considerable criticism.

For the popular Halloween and fireworks events, queue closure times will remain at 9pm.

The park advises that opening times are subject to change and it does occasionally extend ride opening on unexpectedly busy days.