Teens’ 4am joyride on Blackpool Pleasure Beach rollercoaster

Paying customers on the ride when it was known as the Zipper Dipper. It is one of the key attractions in Nickelodeon Land
Paying customers on the ride when it was known as the Zipper Dipper. It is one of the key attractions in Nickelodeon Land
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Two teens went for a 4am joyride on an historic rollercoaster after scaling fences at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

The youths were seen on CCTV cameras riding the Blue Flyer coaster — which can reach speeds of 15mph — after getting into a control room and switching the ride on.

They could have killed themselves. What were they doing out and about in the middle of the night?

After whizzing round and round on the 82-year-old coaster for up to half an hour, they broke into the park’s T-Cafe, throwing food around, before fleeing after being challenged by security guards.

An investigation has now been launched by police, who arrested a 15-year-old boy from Blackpool at the scene.

Coun David O’Hara, is Watson Road in South Shore, said: “They have could have killed themselves. What were they doing out and about in the middle of the night?

“Where were the parents?”

A spokesman for the Pleasure Beach, in Ocean Boulevard, said the youths climbed over barriers and locked gates on Friday before gaining access to the control room of the Blue Flyer, inside the park’s Nickelodeon Land section, and starting the ride up.

“They managed to operate the ride some time before they were discovered by security patrols at 4.50am,” the spokesman said.

“From CCTV footage we understand the intruders were at the ride for up to 30 minutes.

“During this time the two youths can be seen on the ride.”

Built in 1934, the ride, previously known as both the Zipper Dipper and the Warburtons Milk Roll-A-Coaster, features an initial drop from a height of 15 feet, two smaller hills, and a tunnel.

It has a maximum speed of 15mph and the ride lasts for around one minute.

On its website yesterday, the park said: “Please note: Blue Flyer [is] currently undergoing maintenance and will not be open this weekend.”

However, the ride has since been fully inspected and is operational, and is now open to the public, the spokesman told The Gazette.

The T-Cafe, a food outlet close to the Gold Mine ride which sells a range of snacks, including popcorn and candy floss, also remains open after ‘no significant damage was caused’, they said.

The spokesman added: “Blackpool Pleasure Beach operates 24 hour security and patrols across the 42-acre site 365 days a year.

“Security will continue to operate with vigilance across the site, assisted by CCTV surveillance monitoring activity on the grounds.”

A spokeswoman for Lancashire Police said officers were called at around 4.50am by the park’s security guards.

She said the 15-year-old was given a community resolution order, which will have required a confession.

The incident will be logged on the national police computer, but it is not classed as a conviction and will not appear on any future standard criminal record checks.

No further arrests have been made.