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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 July, 2004, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Fun park screams 'cause misery'
Oblivion ride at Alton Towers
Oblivion thrill-seekers drop nearly 200ft at a speed of 110km/h
A couple who live near to Alton Towers claim screams from the rides at the country's biggest theme park are making their lives a misery.

Stephen and Suzanne Roper say they have been forced to put up with excessively high decibel levels from popular rides such as Oblivion and the Corkscrew.

They have started a private prosecution against the Staffordshire park.

The park's owner Tussauds Theme Park Ltd is creating a statutory noise nuisance, county magistrates heard.

If you live within I would suggest a mile or any more of Alton Towers, your windows literally shake and if you go outside, the ground shakes
Stephen Roper

Mr and Mrs Roper say the 1990 Environmental Protection Act has been broken and want Tussauds to be served with a noise abatement order.

Mr Roper told North Staffordshire Magistrates' Court how late-night firework displays, concerts and corporate weekends which involve discos and loud public address systems contributed to their misery.

"If you live within I would suggest a mile or any more of Alton Towers, your windows literally shake and if you go outside, the ground shakes," he told the court.

The couple moved to Farley, 100 yards from the park's entrance, 10 years before the rollercoasters appeared.

Noise nuisance

The Oblivion ride entails a vertical drop of nearly 200ft face first at a speed of 110km/h.

The court heard an independent acoustics expert carried out nine noise readings during a six-month period last year.

Results showed a "significant increase" in noise when Alton Towers was open.

Richard Kimblin, acting for Tussaud's, produced correspondence from Mr Roper from as far back as August 1980 to suggest the pottery boss was only really concerned about traffic.

He told the court that Alton Towers had taken steps to reduce noise nuisance by limiting firework shows to 30 minutes and cut sound-testing times for public address systems.

The case continues.


SEE ALSO:
Theme park 'pushing absenteeism'
21 Apr 04  |  Staffordshire
Alton Towers offers refund
03 Jun 03  |  Staffordshire
Visitors trapped on rollercoaster
24 Jun 01  |  UK News


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