Plea for land train not tourism bus - councillors

PUBLISHED: 13:00 16 August 2014

Crosville bus.

Crosville bus.

Archant

PASSENGER numbers for Weston's tourism bus have 'disappointed' some councillors, leading them to call for a land train to replace the service next year.

Tourism bus numbers - mid-season

May - 226 passengers

June - 365 passengers

July - 554 passengers

The summer bus, provided by Crosville, takes residents and visitors around the main attractions in the town.

It visits Princess Royal Square and picks up people from the seafront and railway station.

The tourism bus, which has cost the town council £20,000, takes a loop around Clarence Park and visits sites such as the SeaQuarium, Grand Pier, the water park, then travels along the Boulevard, and back to Princess Royal Square.

At the council’s tourism and leisure committee meeting on Monday town clerk Malcolm Nicholson revealed passenger figures for the past three months, which ranged from 226 to 554.

Councillor Ian Porter said: “The old idea was to set out a train, as it’s a bit of fun as well, and I’m a bit disappointed we have ended up where we are.

“I do not think people identified it as a tourism bus, and these issues are the reason why it has not done so well.

“We tried it and gave it a go but I think we should get the train running around the town, not a bus.

“A train works well in most other seafront resorts and I think that is what we should aim for.”

Cllr Peter Crew, who agreed with Cllr Porter’s comments on the bus’ identity, said if a train was the right option the council would need a supplier which could provide two engines, in case one broke down.

Chairman of the committee Sonia Russẻ said the tourism bus would be reviewed at the end of the season.

She said: “I think there will be a lot of comments from the provider and us.

“Whatever we do for the future, it will be an improvement.”

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