English Heritage (EH) has rejected calls to list Merseyside's famous 1937 Cyclone roller coaster.
The news has been greeted with horror by conservationists, who have warned that there may soon be 'no pre-war roller coasters left in Britain'.
The Southport amusement park Pleasureland, in which the ride stands, closed earlier this year, and concern has been growing ever since for the future of the Cyclone.
But EH has come down against campaigners who believe that the extraordinary wooden structure ought to be listed and retained.
This decision has been attacked by SAVE Britain's Heritage, which has been spearheading the campaign to save it, as 'confused and contradictory'.
The conservation organisation warned that the decision is a further nail in the coffin for amusement-park heritage in Britain. For example none of the rides at Blackpool are listed - the Grand National was refused in 2001.
The Cyclone is made from 30,000m of wood, rises to 18.3m and reaches speeds of 68km/h. by Ed Dorrell