Shanklin Cliff Lift is down again, but the Isle of Wight Council has brought forward refurbishment plans. Picture by Jennifer Burton.
A MAJOR electrical fault with Shanklin Cliff Lift means it will not open to the public over the Easter holiday.
However, the Isle of Wight Council said the unexpected fault, means £760,000 of renovation work can be brought forward.
Cllr Shirley Smart, executive member for tourism, said: "This latest setback is a huge disappointment, but when you consider it dates back to 1957 and is exposed to the elements every day, it’s not really surprising."
The lift is due to be back in action by the summer.
Cllr Smart said the council regretted not being able to open the lift sooner, but the required parts were no longer made or stocked.
The first phase of work will see the machinery and lift cars completely upgraded and modernised with brand new equipment inside the lift tower.
Once the first lift reopens, work to replace the second lift car will start.
The temporary bridge installed last year will remain until it is replaced when the lift is closed, earlier than usual at the end of September.
Cllr Smart said it was a complex project, but the work programme had been designed to ensure the lift can be used over the main holiday season.
Shanklin mayor Cllr Jon Gilbey, said a meeting was being arranged for council officers to update Shanklin hotel association and Esplanade-based businesses.
The scheme should be completed ahead of the Easter Holidays next year.