The historic attraction that is Babbacombe Cliff Railway has, like many others in the area, had a stormy start to the year. The freak weather conditions in February broke through the doors to the Visitor Centre down on Oddicombe Beach. A group consisting of some of the Directors and other local people managed to get together in the early hours of the morning during low tide to empty as many of the contents as possible before retreating to let high tide do its worst. As soon as power is restored work will begin on drying the centre out and getting it ready to open again as soon as possible.
In the meantime, as part of its ongoing programme of modernisation the Cliff Railway has a new website which will be far easier for holidaymakers to navigate as the responsive design means that it works well on smart phones, tablets, etc. Babbacombe Cliff Railway Community Interest Company Chairman, John Ayres, said “Whilst the Cliff Railway is well-used by local people we are delighted by how many holidaymakers come to visit us each year. We were aware that our previous website was not suitable for the wide range of devices that people now use to go on-line so we thought it was time for an update.” He added “I’m really pleased with the new version that we now have. Not only is it mobile friendly it is also easily update-able and our staff have received training so that we can now make sure it has all the latest news on it which will also be very helpful for anyone planning to visit us or those wanting to keep up to date with what’s happening.”
Phil Allen of local web design company, Studio Devon, was tasked with the job of providing the new mobile-friendly, fresh, update-able design and John said “It’s always nice to be able to work with other local businesses and we’re very happy with the finished product that Phil has given us.” To view the new website on your PC, laptop, tablet or smart phone visit www.babbacombecliffrailway.co.uk As well as the new website you can also keep up to date with all the latest news from the Cliff Railway via Facebook at www.facebook.com/babbcliffrail or by following the Twitter feed @BabbCliffRail
In the meantime, the Cliff Railway itself opened for business at half-term and visitor numbers have been up on last year. John said “We had some lovely sunshine which, after all the terrible weather, brought people out in droves. But I also think that everyone had seen so much coverage of all the coastal damage in the press and on the television that they wanted to see for themselves how their local beach was faring.”
Oddicombe Beach Café was also badly damaged during the storms, along with the esplanade itself. In a bid to provide some extra services the Cliff Railway is now offering free tea and coffee to visitors at the bottom station and this is proving popular. John says “Despite the damage to the esplanade and buildings Oddicombe is still a lovely beach for a bit of fresh air on a spring day and we are obviously keen to encourage people to use the railway and enjoy some sea air. While the café is out of action we thought that giving people the opportunity to still enjoy a coffee or tea would be a nice idea.”
Babbacombe Cliff Railway is open daily from 9.30am. Prices are just £1.40 return for children, £2 return for adults and £5.90 for a family return ticket.