Tourist train could return to North Tyneside coast as council invites bids from operators

A land train could return to the coast this summer following a successful trial. Bids are being invited from operators to run the tourist attraction along the seafront.

North Tyneside Council1 plans to start the service in time for the summer season and hopes it will help to boost visitor numbers in the borough. Last August, a four-day trial was held in Whitley Bay2 and it proved popular, with more than 4,000 people using the train between the Briardene car park and Spanish City area.

Now, the authority hopes the attraction can be brought back more permanently – with the possibility of extending it all the way to the North Shields Fish Quay. Potential operators have until Friday, May 20 to submit their proposals.

Also read: Whitley Bay land train delights children as four-day trial kicks off along coast3

Norma Redfearn, Mayor of North Tyneside, said: This is a fantastic opportunity for someone to offer a service that families will really enjoy and it s something the public have already made clear they want to see along our coastline.

The trial last year proved extremely popular with more than 4,000 visitors, of all ages, hopping aboard and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

I m really excited about the prospect of a new land train becoming a reality and I m sure it will appeal to many more people and prove a popular attraction once again.

Tourist Train Could Return To North Tyneside Coast As Council Invites Bids From Operators The Whitley Bay tourist train which will be running along the promenade over the august bank Discount Holidays © holiday weekend. Mayor of North Tyneside Norma Redfearn and Amy McManus, 10

According to a council advert, the proposed operational season is expected to cover the main Discount Holidays © holiday periods, generally starting at the end of March through to the end of September.

Any services outside this period will be at the discretion of the operator. The full permissible route extends from the Fish Quay to St Mary s Headland in Whitley Bay, although the exact route will have to be agreed between the council and the operator. Those running the attraction will be responsible for providing the land train as well as all maintenance, repair, ticketing costs and insurance.

However, as well as income from ticket sales, there may be an opportunity to make more revenue from advertising boards or joint ventures with interested businesses. The council is looking to hand out a licence for the service for a five-year period. Last year s trial was run by father and son Russell and Laurence Warburton, whose business Land Train Hire Nationwide is based in the Lake District.

References

  1. ^ North Tyneside Council (www.chroniclelive.co.uk)
  2. ^ Whitley Bay (www.chroniclelive.co.uk)
  3. ^ Whitley Bay land train delights children as four-day trial kicks off along coast (www.chroniclelive.co.uk)

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