Alton Towers cuts 70 jobs after rollercoaster crash

The company confirmed at-risk notices had been sent to affected workers at the theme park

Alton Towers cuts 70 jobs after rollercoaster crash

The Smiler roller coaster ride at Alton Towers in Alton, England | Image: Jon Buckle/The FA via Getty Images

Alton Towers is making up to 70 staff redundant amid cuts following The Smiler rollercoaster crash.

The company confirmed at-risk notices had been sent to affected workers at the theme park, which employs 800 full-time staff and an additional 1,500 seasonal workers.

A spokesman for the park in Staffordshire said the move was "part of Alton Towers' continued recovery", and the cuts would fall across all the park's departments.

The job cuts comes after park operator Merlin Attractions was fined £5m at Stafford Crown Court in September for a "catastrophic failure" of health and safety rules over The Smiler crash in June last year.

Two teenagers - Vicky Balch, then 19, and Leah Washington, then 17 - needed leg amputations when the ride collided at 90mph with an empty carriage, 20ft (6m) above ground.

In court, a judge heard that ride engineers overrode the computer system which had correctly stopped the ride because they believed it was in error, leading to the crash.

Alton Towers said a consultation was underway and the jobs would go before the 2017 season.

The park is currently closed for this season and will reopen in March next year.

Merlin saw a £14m drop in revenue this year as a result of the crash, in which 16 people were injured.

An Alton Towers spokeswoman said: "As part of Alton Towers' continued recovery we have been looking at ways to improve our operating model.

"A detailed review of operations has been undertaken across the business to seek further efficiencies and increase flexibility.

"As a result of this review, Alton Towers Resort can confirm that it expects to make between 60-70 redundancies ahead of the 2017 season.

"Alton Towers will work closely with all those affected in order to support them through the consultation process and any subsequent requirement for alternative employment and job search activities."