Surrey

Pilots criticise Thorpe Park's 'tasteless' new ride

A theme park's plan to build a ride which includes parts of a simulated plane wreckage has been criticised as "tasteless" by a pilots' union.

Thorpe Park has submitted plans for a 38m (125ft) rollercoaster focused on the theme of "urban devastation".

The British Airline and Pilot Association (Balpa) said the park's proximity to Heathrow and Gatwick Airport made the plan too sensitive.

Thorpe Park said it was attempting to create an "immersive experience".

'Think again'

A spokesman for Balpa said: "We think this ride is staged in a tasteless way.

"The park is fairly close to both Gatwick and Heathrow and the last thing families want to be reminded of is a tragic crash, which fortunately are rare, but nevertheless devastating.

"We urge Thorpe Park to think again."

Mike Vallis, the director of the park, near Chertsey, said: "The theme of the rollercoaster is going to be urban devastation and part of that will be buildings and cars and pieces of a plane.

"The actual ride itself is nothing to do with a plane crash. The ride itself is in a devastated urban landscape and pieces of plane are just part of the scenery.

"We are a theme park and we make immersive experiences for our guests and to create a full scene we use various bits of everything."

The plans have been submitted to Runnymede Borough Council.

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