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The new Nemesis Sub-Terra ride at Alton Towers is the first theme park ride to be given a 12A classification

The new Nemesis Sub-Terra ride at Alton Towers is the first theme park ride to be given a 12A classification

The new Nemesis Sub-Terra ride at Alton Towers is the first theme park ride to be given a 12A classification

A new ride at Alton Towers has been classified too scary for thrill-seekers aged under 12.

The new Nemesis Sub-Terra at Alton Towers Resort, which exists underground and is completely in the dark, has been given a 12A age rating in a bid to protect younger visitors from its terrifying effects.

For the first time in history, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has age-rated something other than a film or video game when it assessed the attraction.

Murray Perkins, senior examiner at the BBFC said that after experiencing the ride first-hand and in line with experience and public opinion, examiners decided to give the Nemesis Sub-Terra the age rating.

He said: "The BBFC's guidelines at 12A/12 allow moderate physical and psychological threat, provided that the disturbing sequences are not frequent or sustained. Nemesis Sub-Terra contains some intense moments, in some respects comparable with scary scenes which may be experienced in horror or science fiction films at 12A/12."

To ensure the new attraction was as terrifying as possible, Alton Towers Resort conducted research during the development which revealed 75% of Brits have a phobia of being trapped underground and as many as one in five adults are still scared of the dark.

Nemesis Sub-Terra plays heavily on both of these fears and is based around the back-story of the original Nemesis attraction, launched in 1994. It takes guests into a restricted facility deep underground into a system of hidden caves. There is only one "chicken exit" within the attraction - for people who cannot cope with the rest of it.

Katherine Duckworth, from Alton Towers Resort, said the classification advice from the BBFC was important for the resort to ensure the well-being of guests.

She said: "We are aware the enforcements that will now be implemented will mean that many of our younger visitors are unable to experience Nemesis Sub-Terra. However, the Alton Towers Resort prides itself on offering a variety of rides for all ages and we hope that those under the age of 12 will continue to enjoy our other attractions."

Nemesis Sub-Terra opens to the public at Alton Towers Resort in Staffordshire on Friday March 24.

PA Media