DRIVER shortages have again led to the cancellation of services on the Hengistbury Head land train.

The problems have been branded a "farce" by users who have endured a series of problems throughout the summer.

BCP Council has been using one of its seafront trains on the route between the Hungry Hiker cafe and Mudeford Sandbank since an accident involving one of the traditional, green noddy trains in October last year.

But it has been beset by problems leaving people with the choice of walking down the lane or paying to use a Land Rover service which has to be booked in advance.

The latest problems arose on Tuesday September 10 when operators said they could not run the train due to a shortage of drivers.

They said they hoped to be up and running the following day but were unable to operate.

On their Facebook post they pointed people in the direction of an advertisement for the £10.17 an hour job which requires drivers to hold a Public Service Vehicle licence.

The train was unable to operate over the weekend but was finally back in service on Monday.

One customer commented: "This really is becoming a farce. Get the Noddy train back into a fully functional, properly staffed, reliable service."

And another said: "Surely it’s obvious for everyone at the council to see that the stupid ‘disney’ train isn’t suitable and doesn’t work."

A Health and Safety Executive investigation was launched last year after a cyclist was injured when to carriages broke free from the train.

This is the ninth time the train has been out of service since June.

It was not operating during part of the August bank holiday weekend and was unable to run on August 14 due to a last-minute family emergency.

The train was out of action on August 7 and July 24 and 31 due to a shortage of drivers.

Operators said servicing requirements stopped the train running on July 17, less than three weeks after the service got back on track following staffing issues.

Staff sickness led to problems on June 18 and 19.