A British roller coaster which has wowed more than 43 million thrill seekers has taken to the tracks for the last time after nearly 30 years of service.
The Corkscrew ride at Alton Towers was unveiled 28 years ago as Europe's first double-helix roller coaster, taking riders through 23 metre drops and two corkscrews over 728 metres of track. However the roller coaster, which cost £1.25 million to build, has been surpassed at the theme park by bigger thrillers such as Nemesis, Oblivion, Air, and Rita - Queen of Speed.
On Sunday, adrenaline junkies were invited to have a final ride on the Corkscrew, which has traveled over 820,000 miles to date. Alton Towers fanatic, Ryan Brain, 20, from Stoke, who has visited the park over 300 times, said: "It has been very a sad day. It hasn't just been a big day for the park, it has been a big day for the area. "It needs to be replaced with something special."
Alton Towers bosses have promised a "world first" ride to replace the Corkscrew in two years time. Colin Dawson, Chief Executive of the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions, said: "It's an iconic coaster because it was the first of its kind in the UK and holds a place in the history of the theme park sector. "Now though we've taken the building of roller coasters to new heights, and it is good to see Alton Towers are not afraid to move on by closing down on of their most iconic pieces."
Russell Barnes, Divisional Director for the Alton Towers Resort said: "The Corkscrew has played a key part in the heritage of Alton Towers, and I am sure millions of our guests will look back with fond memories of the first time they were inverted upside down twice within three seconds!", He said that they already had a replacement ride in mind and hoped to launch it once planning permission is granted in March 2010.