Ghost train set to vanish from Promenade

Carnesky's ghost train
Carnesky's ghost train
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A councillor today called for the site of a failed ghost train to be converted into a relaxation area for the local community.

Waterloo ward councillor Derek Robertson wants the site of the controversial Carnesky’s Ghost Train made into a seating area with flower beds when the tourist attraction is finally removed this month.

But the site opposite the Sandcastle Water park is currently leased from the council by the Pleasure Beach and the council said it could not comment on what the future of the site might hold.

The shell of the building is designed to be reused and will be taken down for use elsewhere in the resort.

The wheels finally came off the Flagstaff Gardens ride in April last year after it failed to attract enough customers and only made £600 in operating profit since 2010, yet cost £285,000 of taxpayers’ money to set up in the first place.

Coun Robertson said: “The ghost train is due to disappear by Easter and many people living round here want it to revert to what was there before.

“It was not the right site for the ghost train and it just could not make enough money. It used to be called Flagstaff Gardens and many people think that’s what it should become again.

“What people would like is a nice relaxing area where they could sit and take in the air. It should have flower beds and be for the local community.

The ride which featured live actors and distinctive artwork was installed on the Promenade spot near the Pleasure Beach after opening unsuccessfully in the Winter Gardens in 2008.

The then Conservative administration at Blackpool Council brought it in as an arts project to feature alongside the Illuminations.

But it attracted controversy after costing £285,000 to initially install. The investment was part of £875,000 the council had to allocate from its own budget to lever in £3.5m from the North West Development Agency.

The council secured a further grant of £150,000 – to spend on an Illuminations tableau – after the ghost train moved to Flagstaff Gardens, .

In 2011 Visit England voted it a national attraction awarding it the Visitor Attraction Quality Assured Scheme and initially it proved popular with visitors.

A Blackpool Council spokesman said: “The equipment within the building has already been removed.

“The Illuminations team are now in the process of disposing of the actual building.

“The land is currently leased to Blackpool Pleasure Beach which, we understand, is still considering options for the site.”

No-one from the Pleasure Beach was available to comment.