Page last updated at 14:37 GMT, Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Alton Towers rejects bypass plans

Bypass plans for the Alton Towers theme park in Staffordshire have been turned down by park managers despite a 20-year campaign by residents.

Alton villagers asked park owners for a bypass to ease peak season congestion.

Merlin Entertainments Group said it considered building a relief road from Denstone to the theme park.

But it told Alton Parish Council on Tuesday there was no need for a 12m bypass for village traffic problems which only lasted six weeks each year.

'Very disappointing'

A spokesman for the park said: "We cannot say that is the end of the matter but it is not in our long-term development plans to revisit the idea of a relief road in the next 10 years."

It said it had made the decision based on independent traffic reports and 20 years worth of traffic surveys in the area.

The council said it was "very disappointed" by the park's decision.

Tony Moult, chairman of Alton Parish Council, said: "Sometimes the queues are as far back as Uttoxeter nine or ten miles away from the park grounds and in the summer you can taste the car fumes when you walk down the village.

"We live in a conservation area but there's not a lot we can do about it as a parish council, when you have the country's largest theme park on your doorstep and the district council and the county council gave their permission for it to expand over the years.

"It is just very disappointing."

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