Renovation work puts cliff lift out of action

SCARBOROUGH’S Spa Cliff lift – the oldest funicular railway in the country – is to be closed next week for major renovation work.

The funicular railway, which was opened in Scarborough’s South Bay in 1875, is to be closed from Monday, June 6.

It is hoped the work to refurbish the carriages and install extra safety equipment will be completed within two weeks.

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Scarborough Council says the essential work is needed to meet health and safety regulations, and has been planned to avoid the busy half-term holidays.

Alan Dargue, council asset management plan officer, said: “We have also been working closely with managers at Scarborough Spa to identify the most suitable dates for the work to be undertaken and keep disruption to a minimum, but we recognise there will be some inconvenience, for which we would like to apologise.

“Given the unique nature of the lift and its position, we have been working for some time with contractors and manufacturers to design the necessary safety equipment and systems that satisfy the requirements laid down by HM Inspector of electrical engineering in mines.”

The Spa Cliff lift was originally powered by sea water using a counterweight system, with two gas engines installed to pump the water to the upper station to fill the top car – these were replaced with steam pumps in 1879.

In 1947, the hydraulic system was replaced by electricity.

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Scarborough Council says during the closure, a shuttle bus service is being arranged between the top station in Esplanade and the popular Scarborough Spa venue when events are being held at the complex.