Holy horror at 'Disney train' on Lindisfarne08/06/2021
Holy horror at ‘Disney train’ on Lindisfarne: Locals fear appeal of island is under threat rail track to transport tourists
- Residents fear the timeless appeal is under threat from a ‘Disney-style’ land train
- Many locals are furious about the move being ‘introduced without consultation’
- They fear it will ‘lower the tone’ of the island which is a place of pilgrimage
It is a mystical place of tranquillity, beauty and history.
But residents fear the timeless appeal of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne is under threat from a ‘Disney-style’ land train that has been approved to transport tourists.
Many locals are furious about the move which they say is being introduced without consultation.
They fear it will ‘lower the tone’ of the island, which is cut off from the mainland by the tides twice daily and has long been a place of pilgrimage.
Residents fear the timeless appeal of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne is under threat from a ‘Disney-style’ land train that has been approved to transport tourists
The owner of local car company Woody’s Taxis has received permission from the council for a month-long trial of the mini road train – a three-carriage train on wheels typically seen at seaside resorts and theme parks.
Northumberland County Council has ‘approved the operation in principle’ and it seems likely to remain if there are no safety risks.
The road train would replace the current shuttle bus, operated by the Berwick-upon-Tweed based Woody’s, which takes visitors from the main car park to the 16th century Lindisfarne Castle.
An online petition to ‘stop the land train’, started by local Nicola Douglas, has received more than 1,200 signatures.
Many locals are furious about the move which they say is being introduced without consultation
Critics are concerned it will add to traffic problems during the summer and have a negative impact on trade by reducing ‘browsing’ customers who walk past the island’s shops and cafes as they head to the castle.
About 160 people live on the island but more than 650,000 visitors come annually and tourism is vital to the economy.
But the image of the island, which was famously home to St Cuthbert in the seventh century, is their main concern.
Miss Douglas, 47, a hotel assistant manager, said: ‘I have nothing against land trains but it’s just not for Holy Island. It is not Disneyland and it is not a theme park.
‘The majority of people who live here are against this. It does look like Thomas the Tank Engine and it is not what you expect to see on Holy Island.’
Local county councillor Colin Hardy said: ‘Everyone who has spoken to me has expressed dismay and horror.’ He added the island was one of the region’s ‘jewels’.
Woody’s Taxis has been contacted for comment.
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