Alderney lighthouse tours ended by Trinity House
TOURS of Alderney’s lighthouse are to end after Trinity House ruled that footfall was not up to UK standards.
It has been possible to take weekly tours of Mannez Lighthouse since 1998, the year after Trinity House took over its management.
Alderney Wildlife Trust licences the tours.
‘For there to be enough visitors for the tours to remain open, Alderney would have to be the size of Guernsey,’ said a trust spokesman. ‘With a population of 2,000 it just isn’t possible.
‘It might be possible to negotiate alternatives to closing the tours, but for now this option appears doubtful as Trinity House would have to break their requirements. It will be a decision for the States of Alderney whether to become the licence holder once more.’
A Trinity House spokesman said that the lighthouse would cease to function as a visitor centre at the end of March 2020.
Trinity House is a charity which serves to provide safety to all seafarers by maintaining reliable navigation aids.
The spokesman added: ‘It is very much appreciated that islanders may feel a close affinity with Alderney lighthouse.’
‘We are very sorry Trinity House has decided to take this action,’ said the AWT spokesman
‘Although we understand the reasons for the review, the attraction is significant to the islanders and people who enjoy visiting and going on the tours.’
The Trinity House spokesman said the decision has been made to focus effort into fewer, more accessible and economically viable locations.
The lighthouse is one of Alderney’s most prominent landmarks at 32m high, with 120 steps to the top.
A Visit Alderney spokesman said: ‘The AWT has had the licence agreement for lighthouse tours, this was up for renewal in March 2020. Communications regarding the closure were made to the AWT, however we have responded to Trinity House separately as we felt it was important for us to highlight the impacts that this decision will have.’
Visit Alderney said the impact of this decision would be felt strongly.
‘The Alderney lighthouse is the only heritage building that the island has open for formal regular guided tours.
‘The lighthouse forms a great day out for our tourists who will take the Channel Islands’ only working train to the other end of the island.’