Star Flyer chiefs ‘confident’ but few brave ride

The Star Flyer. Picture: Ian Georgeson
The Star Flyer. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Have your say

CHRISTMAS festival organisers insist they are “confident” passengers will flock back to the Star Flyer now that the attraction has reopened to the public.

The 200ft ride was shut down over the weekend after part of reveller Darcy Gordon’s seat broke off and crashed to the ground while thousands milled around St Andrew Square below.

No-one was injured, but the incident sparked calls for the attraction to be closed permanently and forced bosses to order extensive safety checks.

The Star Flyer reopened late on Sunday afternoon but in one hour yesterday just 48 people braved the ride, with more than half the seats left empty on each of its four ascents. 24,500 took a spin during its first ten days.

Edinburgh’s Christmas organisers said the ride had been assessed by an inspector registered under the Amusement Device Inspection Procedures Scheme.

Cardiff-based expert DMG Technical Services carried out a comprehensive safety inspection over the weekend and the ride was reopened to the public at 5pm on Sunday.

However, it appears revellers remain wary of trying out the giant spinning fairground attraction.

Gareth Rae, 31, from Blackhall, said: “Not a chance. If the part of it which my backside is plonked on can plummet to the ground it’s a ‘no’ from me.”

Jade Galbraith, 24, and Gillian Hills, 34, from Tollcross, were two of those who dared give it a whirl.

But Jade said: “Given what happened they could have lowered the price a bit, that would attract people back. £7.50 is quite a lot for just three minutes.”

Another thrillseeker, Ric McLaughlin, 29, from Muirhouse, said: “Accidents happen in every walk of life. Riding my bike in the city centre is probably more dangerous.”

Bosses at Edinburgh’s Christmas insist that all safety precautions were taken before reopening the ride.

A spokesman for event organiser Underbelly said: “Edinburgh’s Christmas are delighted with the figures for the Star Flyer. Yesterday’s figures are representative of a Monday before schools have broken up. In total, 45,000 people have been on the ride so far and we look forward over the festive period to welcoming many more people to this ride, which is proving to be a huge success both in Edinburgh and elsewhere in the UK.”

Yesterday, the News revealed how young mum Ms Gordon, 23, believed she was “going to die” during Friday’s incident, describing it as “the most horrifying experience of my life”.

Jayne Crawford, a lawyer from Thompsons solicitors, said: “Operators of funfair attractions have a duty of reasonable care to all who could be affected by the normal use of their rides. Injury arising from breach of such a duty imposed by law gives rise to an entitlement to compensation.”