Holy Island land train on hold following residents' concerns
18 Aug 2021
Northumberland County Council have instructed the UK Vehicle Certification Agency to put the licence for the Holy Island land train on hold following serious issues raised by local people.
A meeting was called by the Council to hear objections brought forward by locals to the proposed tourist land train on the island.
However, the planned four-week trial will not go ahead now until further consultation has taken place, and all concerns are listened to and considered.
The Council Leader Glen Sanderson met with representatives from the Holy Island Parish Council, AONB, local residents and businesses and the local councillor to listen to their concerns, backed by a petition that opposes the plans now signed by almost 9,000 people.
Councillor Sanderson said: "There’s no denying the spiritual and historical heritage of Holy Island, and it truly is a remarkable place.
“There’s been a groundswell of opposition to the proposed land train, and we recognise and acknowledge the concerns and issues raised.
“For that reason, we’ve requested the licence for this operation be put on hold by the VCA, to give us time to consider these, and agree a way forward that protects this special place and addresses these concerns.
This news has been welcomed by local opposition, who are campaigning to stop the land train.
Nicola Douglas who started the petition against the land train said: "We are very happy to have been heard by the County Council and look forward to further consultation.”
Glen Sanderson added: “It’s important we collectively agree what’s best for the island and pausing the current trial will help us agree a way forward together.”
The County Council will now undertake further consultation with local people, the Holy Island Development Trust, parish council, AONB, National Trust, and other relevant agencies.