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£5k repair bill for owner of Poole Park's miniature railway after 'lorry damages track'
THE owner of Poole Park’s miniature railway has spent £5,000 on repairs, alleging that the popular train’s track has been damaged by a heavy vehicle.
Chris Bullen, whose popular railway provides a magical journey to Santa’s grotto, is claiming that a 22 tonne truck pushed a section of track down by 1.5inches.
Work started in September on a £1.6million transformation of the café, ice-rink and family attraction from Gus Gorilla’s into The Ark, which is due to be officially opened this Saturday.
Chris says he was unable to run the popular steam train “George” for a week due to damage to the track and has had to pay out £5,000 for specialist repairs, which included adjustments to the engine.
Now he has put up a protest poster and visitors who missed the special train running have been encouraged to put pegs on security fencing in a “peaceful protest”.
“There were 2,500 put up over the weekend,” he said. “There were a lot of very disappointed people.
“We have got the reindeer and the little bunnies and the turkeys. The major part is the train has got to go round on the track.”
He said the disruption and building work had lost him business adding: “The future of the railway has been jeopardised because of about £5,000.”
Mr Bullen claims the contractor refused to make good the damage but main contractor Neil Anstey disputes his claims.
“We went to him and he said as long as we covered it up and put boards over it, he was happy,” said Mr Anstey.
“We did it, as requested by him. Afterwards he said we had damaged it.”
He denied they had caused any damage.
However he added: “If he can prove we have damaged it and gives us an invoice, we’ll be happy to pay it.”
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