Tuesday, December 10, 2013
A new £200,000 ten-stop land train is being planned, linking up Exmouth’s key tourist attractions.
And both the district and town councils back the plans, with town hall bosses set to invest £10,000 in new stops, storage, signs and infrastructure.
The proposals, by Ian Stuart, of Stuart Line Cruises, are for an hourly land train - which travels at just 5mph - linking a circular network of the seafront, docks and the town centre.
Based at the district council’s Maer Road car park, it would offer an unofficial ‘Park and Ride’ service.
“The Maer Road car park is under used; it would be ideal,” said Mr Stuart.
“From Stuart Line Cruises’ point of view, our customers struggle for places to park on the seafront.
“I am just waiting on the district council to confirm that we can keep the land train at Maer Road.”
The stops would be dotted along a route including the seafront, Victoria Road, Rolle Street, High Street, Louisa Terrace and Carlton Hill.
But before the town hall rubberstamps the cash, councillors must wait for the outcome of a district council parking charges review.
Mayor John Humphreys said: “I’m in favour of this wonderful entrepreneurial business scheme. It would be good for Exmouth.”
Town clerk Colin Poole said: “Previously a couple of companies have been serious about a land train.
“But they could not find a way to make it work. Ian is the first to come up with an idea that could. If we provide the infrastructure Ian, or any future company, could then use it.”
A spokesman for East Devon District Council said: “We are broadly supportive of Mr Stuart’s objective and ideas.
“We welcome the chance to work in partnership with Exmouth Town Council on how the project fits into the bigger picture of Exmouth’s future prosperity.”
But first Mr Stuart needs to apply for planning permission for a secure shelter at the car park, and he added: “Assuming that this wins approval, we would also wish to negotiate with him a package price for parking that was beneficial to his land train and represented good value to the council.
“Such a package would take account of the impact any proposed changes to the parking tariff in Maer Road might have.”