Lightwater Valley's Ultimate rollercoaster may face permanent closure as park refuses to rule out retirement of cherished ride

The future of Yorkshire’s most famous rollercoasters is hanging in the balance.

The future of the Ultimate rollercoaster at Lightwater Valley hangs in the balance

The Ultimate, which is the flagship attraction at Lightwater Valley near Ripon, has not re-opened along with other park attractions this weekend.

And the Yorkshire Post understands that its permanent closure has not been ruled out, as the park has taken a decision to re-market itself towards younger children.

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The ride will be closed for at least the duration of the 2021 season in order to keep park numbers at an appropriate level for social distancing, park manager Colin Bowes confirmed.

It follows decisions to retire other thrill-seeking rides at the park including Apollo, the Eagle’s Claw and Raptor Attack.

A statement regarding the confirmed ride closures read: “We understand the retirement of several of our older rides will be disappointing to some of our thrill seeking visitors, however we believe strongly that by re-calibrating the visitor experience to more fully encompass younger children and families we will be able to offer an exciting, new series of fun adventures and entertainments”

The Ultimate is Europe’s longest rollercoaster at 1.5 miles long and has a ride time of six minutes.

It has been at the park some thirty years, opening in July 1991 and it is so well known among rollercoaster enthusiasts that it was recreated in classic video game Rollercoaster Tycoon.