We live by Alton Towers – the traffic is awful but we love the free perks | The Sun

VILLAGERS living near Alton Towers theme park say that traffic can be a nuisance – but the perks make it all worthwhile.

Locals in Alton, Staffordshire are given 20 complimentary tickets a year to redeem at the popular attraction.

The theme park is the largest in the UK and attracts an incredible 5.6 million people annually.

Villagers are given free roam to explore the more than 40 adrenaline-pumping roller coaster rides on offer.

And while road-clogging traffic can be an issue for locals, the iconic site provides a much-needed boost to the local economy.

Semi-retired Publican John Moorhouse, 73, said: "The traffic can be really bad, especially with the coaches.

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"The roads aren't really designed for them around here.

"But all in all it's great for local businesses around here.

"You get so much passing trade and we have a few rooms at the pub which get booked up quick.

"I used to come to Alton Towers from Brum when I was a kid so I knew it was a nice area. I had a friend who lived in the village and moved here 38 years ago."

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Dad-of-three Tom Wilkinson said the attraction's popularity means that both visitors and locals benefit year round.

"It's all in all a real positive living near Alton Towers," the 40-year old said.

"The theme park sustains the village in the summer months with all the tourism so the locals can enjoy it more in winter.

"The pubs, shops and Airbnb's all do well around here and its a very sought after area so property prices stay really healthy too.

"It's brilliant to be able to take our children and having CBeebies Land on the doorstep."

Fellow resident Karl Jones dismissed his neighbours' traffic complaints, as those moving to the picturesque village should know what to expect.

He said: "Anyone who moves to Alton can't really complain about traffic because you know you're by a theme park.

"Alton Towers must generate so much money for the village.

"We love it, the free tickets are a great touch we can take our daughter there throughout the year."

The theme park said in a statement that they are taking the necessary steps to reduce issues caused by traffic.

"We are immensely proud of our beautiful grounds and rural location, and the community who live and work around the Resort," the statement said.

"As a major local employer, we are deeply embedded in the community. Our local residents play a key consideration in how we manage the site and shape our future plans.

"We continue to engage with and support the local community on a range of both site led and community initiatives and value the important role we play as a Resort in being a good neighbour.

"We have worked with the Highways Agency and local communities to conduct traffic surveys to fully understand our impact and identify areas of opportunity.

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"As a result we have invested in new local signage to restrict access to non-residents along quieter routes during peak times and successfully campaigned to lower speed limits on some access roads which in-turn has resulted in Sat Nav re-direction of traffic to alternative routes that are deemed more suitable."

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