Hengitsbury Head Land Train

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Hengitsbury Head Land Train

Postby David9694 » 31 Mar 2019, 9:30pm

There is a direct connection to cycling and a wider point here, folks.

When it’s operating, the land train pugs along the mile of so from the end of proper roads to a half way down the sandy spit that sits in the lee of Hengistbury Head. You can walk or cycle this path, and get the ferry across to Mudeford. It’s a nice spot and evidence of what I always say, “people are longing to cycle” - they just need somewhere safe to do it. The land train is nice for visitors and also has goods carriages for the beach hut owners to put their wares in. I believe it’s been running for about 50 years.

Last October there was an incident - some (two, I think) carriages became detached and unfortunately a cyclist was injured.

Now the busy season approaches once more and the land train isn’t running again yet. There’s a Health & Safety investigation, police involvement.

I guess my main point is that out on the open road, accidents involving the whole range of motor vehicles and drivers and a range of injuries, usually to others, seem to get scant attention from the authorities indeed evidence of some pretty incompetent inattentive driving is brushed under the carpet time and again. The second point is what if the land train doesn’t get going again is going to be the alternative, and is that going to be better or worse - from the point of view of pedestrians and cyclists - on this very popular route?
Last edited by David9694 on 7 Apr 2019, 9:10am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hengistbury Head Land Train

Postby Cyril Haearn » 1 Apr 2019, 12:32am

I have seen these in towns, they are allowed to drive through pedestrian areas, awful

Perhaps a narrow-gauge tram could be built on a separate route
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Re: Hengistbury Head Land Train

Postby TrevA » 1 Apr 2019, 2:04pm

My wife's aunt owns a chalet on Hengustbury Head beach and we've stayed there on holiday a couple of times. The first time we used the Land Train quite a bit, though it stopped running at 6pm, so if we were out later, we would have to park up and walk. It's about a mile long walk from the car park. The second time we stayed, we mostly used the ferry from Mudeford.

I don't know what the alternative would be. Perhaps a minibus? I hope they don't start letting cars down towards the beach.
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Re: Hengistbury Head Land Train

Postby foxyrider » 1 Apr 2019, 2:40pm

Given there are literally thousands of land trains (noddy trains) in locations across the globe that work perfectly well, any issue at Hengistbury has to be specific to that operation ie faulty equipment. I'm guessing here of course but resumption of service will be dependent on the exact circumstances and the operators attitude as much as H&E.

Somehow I don't think a minibus is really a suitable option as a replacement, may as well suggest a zip wire! Having said that, maybe a cable car would work.
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Re: Hengistbury Head Land Train

Postby Postboxer » 2 Apr 2019, 2:38pm

Get down there quick with a rickshaw, make a fortune.

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Re: Hengistbury Head Land Train

Postby rjb » 2 Apr 2019, 2:56pm

Its only a mile, use shanks pony for heavens sake. Ive taken the ferry from Christchurch and walked back again. It would be easy by bike. Are the great crested newts still there?
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Re: Hengistbury Head Land Train

Postby Roy A » 2 Apr 2019, 4:35pm

A very pleasant cycle route to/from the Mudiford ferry. One of my annual rides uses it between the New Forest and the Purbecks. The ferryman is always accommodating and loads/unloads bikes. I've met the land train a couple of times and it almost fills the surfaced track in places as it meanders through the trees.

Hopefully it will be passed safe to resume to allow those with limited mobility to enjoy the ride and carry loads for beach hut owners. The last thing would be to permit any other vehicle on the track.
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Re: Hengistbury Head Land Train

Postby ChrisF » 2 Apr 2019, 5:04pm

I can't offer any suggestions about the land train, but I wish I'd known about this cycle route last summer! I was riding from west of Bournemouth through to Milford-on-sea. After not being able to ride on NCN2 along Bournemouth seafront (no cycling allowed during the day in summertime!) I then went through the centre of Christchurch at rush-hour. Not very pleasant. I'm glad there's a better alternative.
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Re: Hengistbury Head Land Train

Postby ubert767 » 2 Apr 2019, 5:20pm

ChrisF wrote: After not being able to ride on NCN2 along Bournemouth seafront (no cycling allowed during the day in summertime!) .

The cycling restriction along the Bournemouth and Poole seafront promenades applies during July and August between the hours of 10am and 6pm.

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Re: Hengistbury Head Land Train

Postby Barks » 6 Apr 2019, 9:04pm

I think the real point here is that an incident involving a ‘land’ or ‘noddy’ train immediately invites investigation and suspension of activity yet daily far worse infractions on the highway are just accepted as part of the normal goings on. Simialraly ‘near miss’ incidents within commercial activity attract full blown scrutiny by government yet similar on the roads are summarily dismissed by the relevant highway authorities be that police, CPS and local councils.

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Re: Hengitsbury Head Land Train

Postby David9694 » 7 Apr 2019, 9:17am

Yes - as above. Plus the point that unless something is done, pressure to allow individual cars along there will mount as we’re now into Easter holls, etc. Another car-free space invaded!