Wooden ride ‘perfect’ for Alton Towers – Wardley

John WardleyRetired ride designer John Wardley has revealed that he considered a wooden rollercoaster to be “absolutely perfect” for Alton Towers.

In recently-released third edition of his autobiography, he says that “opinion went against him” during the planning of the park’s 2013 ride.

“We all knew that a traditional wooden coaster would be an absolutely perfect attraction for the park, and would thrill young and old alike,” he wrote.

“But the public’s pre-conceptions of them being old-fashioned made them very difficult to promote and market. I was convinced that once the guests had ridden such a ride they would love it and be very enthusiastic.”

Wardley once produced sketches of a ride which would cross the Staffordshire park’s famous valley gardens, featuring 200-foot drops – but the plans were withdrawn at the time without comment.

Park operator Merlin Entertainments has typically been very reluctant to install a wooden rollercoaster at one of its theme parks, citing public opinion of them being unsafe.

A wooden ride has been considered for Thorpe Park in recent years, but Merlin boss Nick Varney was quoted as saying he sees the installation of one in his parks as being unlikely.