COMMUTERS and tourists may soon be able to bypass rush-hour traffic snarl-ups and savour the stunning sea views between Bournemouth and Poole instead.

Water taxis along Poole Bay could help ease congested roads between the two resorts, according to Bournemouth borough council's marketing and events manager Jon Weaver.

Revealing ambitious new water travel plans at a Bournemouth Tourism Management Board briefing in the Pavilion, Mr Weaver said water taxis were just one of a range of new initiatives being considered by tourism bosses in both towns.

He told the Daily Echo: "We are looking to develop a more frequent ferry service between Bournemouth and Poole, via Sandbanks.

"There is a great opportunity if we can get people between the resorts, by water, quicker than by car.

"We need to get commuters and visitors to consider water taxis as an alternative to using their cars but the service needs to be cost effective and frequent.

"With clogged up roads becoming more and more of a headache for both commuters and visitors to the area, water taxis could be the transport of the future.

"People already cycle along the seafront - this is just another way of easing congestion on our busy road network.

"The plan is at its inception stage at the moment; it still has to be agreed by the Poole and Bournemouth tourism boards which are made up of representatives from the trade and local authorities.

"Then we will hold discussions with the current operators, Dorset Belles. If feasible, water taxis could be piloted, on a trial basis, during summer 2008."

Mr Weaver stressed that tourism chiefs had joined forces in a bid to promote Bournemouth and Poole "as a whole experience".

He added: "People see 11 miles of beach and we are keen to work closer together, enlisting the help of taxi drivers and coach operators, who see no boundary, to actively promote the entire area.

"There will also be a joint access guide for disabled visitors and events held simultaneously in the two resorts, along with more multi-cultural activities aimed at foreign language students.

"We want to work together and develop the whole conurbation as a superior destination in the UK."