Confusion delays opening of Barry Island Pleasure Park rollercoaster

Barry Island
Astra Games Austin Powers LB
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It is just the latest in a series of obstacles the Welsh amusement park has faced since it came under new ownership. Barry Island Pleasure Park has once again met with local authority bureaucracy.

he owner of Barry Island Pleasure Park has defended its new rollercoaster after the attraction’s launch date was delayed by safety inspectors.

The seaside amusement park had expected the rollercoaster, dubbed ‘Cyclone’, to be open by now, but the Health and Safety Executive said it had not gone through the mandatory procedures required before the public can ride it.

Owner Henry Danter insisted that there was no problem with Cyclone and the delay was down to a matter of completing the necessary paperwork.

He told WalesOnline: “There is nothing wrong with the ride. It is just a matter of paperwork to be able to operate it.”

When the new rollercoaster arrived at Barry Island Pleasure Park last month, Danter told press that he anticipated it being ready for visitors in early August.

In a statement, a spokesman for the HSE said: “We have been in contact with the fairground operator regarding the Cyclone roller coaster ride at Barry Island Pleasure Park and have taken the decision to prohibit the ride from being operated until all necessary testing and pre-start documentation, such as the Design Review, Assessment of Conformity to Design (ACD) and Declaration of Conformity (DOC), relating to initial and annual testing, is available for inspection.

“The carrying out of such tests, and the provision of documentation, is a matter for both the ride owner or operator and a ride examiner from a registered inspection body.

“HSE does not carry out those tests nor does it issue the documentation. We cannot comment further at this time.”

Danter’s reign has had its fair share of hurdles since he took over Barry Island Pleasure Park in 2015, when he promised to invest £22m and make it “the best tourist attraction in Wales” within five years.

He brought a ferris wheel to the site in October 2017, only for the Vale of Glamorgan Council to say it did not have the proper planning permission and force it to be removed.

The wheel then spent the Christmas period on Clapham Common in London, before returning to Barry Island and being re-erected after it gained planning permission from the council.

During the disagreement, Danter said he could not understand why the council wasn’t working with him to revive the amusement park.

He commented: “We want to work with the council not against them. We have put all our family wealth here to make it a better place, so why they are doing this to us I don’t know.

“I thought our relationship was very good – we made Barry great again. We put the heart back into Barry.

“We have made Barry what it is. It was down the pan, it was a terrible site, it was just a lost cause.”

This sometimes turbulent relationship hit another sour note in November 2017 when Danter was fined £20,700 and ordered to pay £14,311 in court costs after pleading guilty to breaking building regulations when he marginally extended the site’s amusement arcade.

But for all the hurdles, the Danter era has elevated Barry to new heights,in spite of an-oft sniffy local bureaucracy.


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