A new ‘land train’ service could be up and running between attractions on the borough’s coastline next year.
North Tyneside Council have announced the ambitious plans for a passenger service connecting key sites along the coastline, from spring 2015.
The initial proposed route is the five mile stretch from Tynemouth to Whitley Bay, running from March to October, and could be extended to the Fish Quay.
Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “This ambition to bring a land train to North Tyneside is part of our ongoing work to improve and enhance our stunning coastal offer here in North Tyneside, for residents and visitors alike.
“We have a huge range of attractions along our shoreline including our Blue Flag beaches, fantastic indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, unique shops and cafes and more.
“This proposed service could truly connect our coastal corridor, bringing it together as one destination, and making it even easier for visitors to explore and enjoy the North Tyneside coast.”
The council is now asking potential operators to come forward with proposals for the scheme.
The successful operator would be responsible for providing the transport method – which could be a land train, or a similar vehicle. Proposals could include scope for other types of transport, for example cycle hire or a combination of methods, giving visitors a choice. The successful operator would also take care of costs including maintenance, repair, operating and ticketing.
Operators will be asked to provide detailed proposals, including information about what type of transport they could provide; route maps showing drop-off and pick-up points; times and days the facility will operate and number of passengers that could be carried, supported by sound business and marketing plans.
They will also be required to meet certain legal, health and safety and insurance conditions.
Any scheme would be reviewed at the end of its first season, and if successful, could be extended for a further five years.
The council is also offering a grant of up to £30,000 which could be used towards equipment or work.
Potential operators who wish to submit an expression of interest should call (0191) 643 6479 or email email@example.com
The closing date for expressions of interest is Friday, April 18, at noon.