Dorset

Hengistbury Head land train scrapped after bike crash probe

Land train at Hengistbury Head Image copyright Chris Downer
Image caption The wooden train has been operating for three decades

A so-called Noddy train that has been running at a Dorset beauty spot for half a century is to be scrapped following an accident investigation.

The land train at Hengistbury Head has been suspended since October 2018 when a trailer detached and hit a cyclist.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council said it was "not financially viable" to repair.

It said it was investigating alternatives such as a battery-run train.

The council-run service runs through Hengistbury Head nature reserve between the main car park and Mudeford Spit.

'Disappointed'

BCP said the Health and Safety Executive had advised that the 30-year-old trains would need a "complete redesign" to comply with modern safety standards.

It said safety improvements, including fitting engine-controlled brakes to each carriage, would be too costly.

Since the wooden train was taken out of use, a temporary replacement train has been used in its place.

A council spokesman said: "Although we are disappointed that we can no longer continue using the traditional train... we are looking forward to investigating alternative options to keep this popular attraction running."

In 2014 when 21,000 people signed a petition against council plans to replace the service.

The plans were scrapped after the petition in support of its owner at the time, Joyce Farris, who had been running the train since the death of her husband, who launched the service in 1969.

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