Fares for a historic seafront attraction are to be hiked – as part of plans to cover rising costs.
The Volks Railway has been carrying visitors from Brighton’s Palace Pier to Black Rock for 130 years.
But, as part of proposals to raise more money from the world’s oldest operating electric railway, Brighton and Hove City Council, which has run it since 1940, has recommended increasing fares by about 30%.
The local authority believes it will help the “unique” attraction, the brainchild of Victorian engineer Magnus Volk, reach its income target of £225,000 for the next financial year.
It comes just months after the local authority revealed £1.5 million plans to turn it into the world’s first solar powered electric railway by installing “solar trees”.
If approved, the new prices will come into effect from April. Geoffrey Bowden, chairman of the council’s economic development and culture committee, said: “The suggested price increases are not linked to the proposed capital refurbishment project for which we’re seeking a grant.
“The increased revenue would help to fund the ongoing running costs of the railway. We still feel the Volks is good value for money.
“We want to increase usage and possibly extend its operating season to capitalise on extra business the sand sculpture festival at Black Rock will bring.”
Adult single prices are to rise by 30% from £2 to £2.60 with a return up to £2.50 from £3.10 (12.9%). A child single will cost £1.50, up from £1.10 (36.4%), with £2 return, up from £1.60 (25%).
Seniors will pay £1.70 for a single and £2.60 for a return – up 40p and 60p respectively.
A family return will increase from £6.90 to £9 (30.4%).
The council said it also hoped to raise extra revenue by extending opening hours beyond 10am-5.30pm between Easter and September only.
A decision will be made by the cross-party economic development and culture committee on Thursday.
Plans to turn it into the world’s first solar powered electric railway were unveiled in October, with five “solar trees” in Madeira Drive and the introduction of a new all-weather train.