THE East Hill lift was out of action for almost a week following a breakdown only 18 months after undergoing major repairs.
Revenue lost will have run into thousands of pounds after the lift, one of Hastings’s biggest tourist attractions, was at a standstill during the August Bank Holiday weekend and throughout most of this week.
Last Friday afternoon (August 26) seven people were trapped in the lower car about 15 metres from the station, after the lift malfunctioned.
Fire and rescue were called to the scene at 4.33pm, and evacuated the group from the car.
After 45 minutes, all passengers were safely on the ground and no one was injured, but the lift was out of order until yesterday (Thursday) while engineers worked to repair an electrical fault.
Council spokesman Kevin Boorman, said: “At no time was anyone in any danger.
“A number of adults and children in the lower car were all safely evacuated.”
He added that it was a blow from a tourism point of view. “Obviously it was completely rebuilt only 18 months ago, and we are having that conversation with our contractors.
On an ordinary summer day, visitors would flock to the East Hill lift, which is the UK’s steepest funicular railway, with the top of the hill offering panoramic views of The Stade and the ride to the top an experience in itself.
The lift was closed in 2007 after one of the cars crashed into the station after its brakes failed.
Following costly repairs, including refurbishment of the cars, the 109-year-old attraction reopened in March of last year before suffering another breakdown one week later.
The lift was back in working order yesterday, all repairs having been completed.