Council to weigh up tourist train plans

This is the route a tourist train in the city could take - if highways chiefs can be won over.Former city councillor Ian Williams is behind the idea for a city centre tourist train which he believes could open up the hidden secrets of Norwich's heritage.

This is the route a tourist train in the city could take - if highways chiefs can be won over.

Former city councillor Ian Williams is behind the idea for a city centre tourist train which he believes could open up the hidden secrets of Norwich's heritage.

The route would be operated by a new firm, Discover Norwich, with fares ranging from £2.50 for youngsters to £4 for adults.

Trains, which could be in place by next March, would take in historic sites across the city with proposed drop-off points including the Adam and Eve pub, Bedford Street, and Dragon Hall.

And an onboard GPS system could help provide a commentary of historic buildings and sites as the train passes.

But highways chiefs have insisted that trains should be barred from pedestrianised areas, including Gentleman's Walk, Pottergate, and London Street.

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Trains should also steer clear of the inner ring road as well as Theatre Street to avoid traffic chaos. And there are concerns about letting trains along Duke Street.

Tourist trains are popular in Europe and visitors to Yarmouth can take a trip to the Pleasure Beach during the summer

A report to the committee said that talks would continue with the operator to agree a final route though Timberhill and Orford Street could be suitable.

Officers also want any operator to pay the cost of changing traffic orders to allow a train down city streets

A report to the Norwich Highways Agency committee says: "The routing proposed covers a large number of the city's tourist sites. It is clear that there are few if any alternative routes available which allow access via a tourist train."

Mr Williams said he hoped councillors would give the green light to the concept.

"I think it will be a real benefit to the city - people will be able to see the wealth of history the city has," he said. "I'm just hoping that members will see the full potential."

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