An enthusiasts’ society has criticised delays in repairing damage to the Manx Electric Railway by a landslip.
Treasury Minister Eddie Teare has said he can’t guarantee when the line will reopen north of Laxey following the landslide at Ballaglass.
According to the MER Society, the landslip occurred during bad weather around two months ago near the Ballaglass power station affecting the trackbed and preventing trams from running over that area.
In a statement, the Society said: ‘It should have been obvious that an early assessment and repair of the area was desirable to allow advertised summer services to commence as planned on April 4.
‘Yet with just over five weeks to go, the area is still waiting to be assessed, before any repairs can start, putting at risk much needed revenue streams not only for the tramway but also business who rely on trade from the MER both along the route and at the Chief Minister’s constituency of Ramsey.
‘Given the remaining short time before the start of the summer season, it is entirely possible that, yet again, tram services to Ramsey may be cancelled – remember the fiasco during 2008’.
Colin Kniveton, chief officer of the Department of Community, Culture and Leisure, said: ‘Preparations to investigate the problem are being finalised and I expect to receive a report detailing the cause of the problem, the extent of the damage and the potential remedial works and costs by the end of March.’
But the MER Society spokesman said: ‘It is not entirely clear why such a lengthy delay has occurred at the Manx Electric Railway. Is governmental emergency funding not designed for such a situation? The urgency should now be to get the area repaired, the Manx Electric Railway fully reopened to the north and later sort out why there has been a delay, or who is responsible.’