Alton Towers may axe 190 jobs in wake of roller coaster crash

Up to 190 redundancies could be made at the Alton Towers theme park, as a result of a drop in ticket sales following a roller coaster crash this summer which severely injured five people.

On June 2nd 2015, two carriages collided on "The Smiler" roller coaster at the Merlin Entertainments-owned theme park in Staffordshire, U.K. Two women involved in the collision needed leg amputations, while a total of 16 people had some form of injury in the crash. The Smiler has remained closed since the incident.

"The Smiler" rollercoaster, at Alton Towers Resort, U.K.
Christopher Furlong | Getty Images Europe | Getty Images
"The Smiler" rollercoaster, at Alton Towers Resort, U.K.

The amusement park said the "devastating incident" had impacted their company, with its key summer months seeing a decline in visitation numbers. As a result, the resort has announced a proposed restructuring of its business, ahead of the park's new season opening in March 2016.

"Alton Towers Resort is operating in the very dynamic and competitive leisure industry which is seeing increasingly rapid change, primarily fuelled by new technologies and ever higher visitor expectations," the company said in a statement.

"The business therefore needs a modern, flexible structure which reflects this requirement for a reactive and customer focused approach."

However this restructuring means the park may have to make up to 190 salaried job cuts. The park currently employs 1,000 permanent staff members and around 1,500 seasonal workers during March and November.

In September, Merlin announced that the crash had resulted in "significantly reduced visitation" over its key summer months, telling Reuters that it may take another two years for numbers at the Staffordshire park to recover.

"We believe that this reorganization now, together with a continuous programme of capital investment, will not only ensure the Resort's long term growth, which is so vital to the local economy, but also protect the jobs of the bulk of its employees for the future."