THE traditional Hengistbury Head noddy trains are to be sold after an investigation concluded they are not safe.

The much-loved green trains could be replaced by battery-run or hybrid land trains following the decision taken by BCP Council.

But there will be no service from January 5 until the school half term in February.

A Health and Safety Executive(HSE) investigation has been running since an accident involving the old trains in October last year.

A cyclist was hurt when two carriages broke loose from the train.

This investigation has now concluded with the HSE informing the council that the traditional trains would require extensive works to run them again, including fitting engine-controlled brakes to each carriage alongside several other safety improvements.

The council would not be allowed to run the old trains without complete redesign work to meet new Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) requirements.

A BCP Council spokesman said initial enquiries have indicated that to bring these 30-year-old trains up to the required standards would be complex and expensive.

A decision has been taken that to carry out the work would not be financially viable.

"As a result, the council is investigating several other long-term sustainable options including the possible introduction of an environmentally friendly battery-run or hybrid land train to support its commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030" said a spokesman.

" The council also feels it is important to reinstate a land train service befitting of the location and traditions of this world-renowned Site of Special Scientific Interest."

The council saidindependent legal advice on the status of the road to the sandspit has concluded that the road is considered public and as such BCP Council would need to gain a Vehicle Special Order (VSO) to meet the public passenger carrying standards, with drivers requiring a Passenger Service Vehicle Licence (PSV).

A BCP Council Spokesperson commented: "The Hengistbury Head Land Train is a very popular service amongst both residents and visitors to the area. Over the last 50 years, generations of people have created fond memories of using this service, and although we are disappointed that we can no longer continue using the traditional train, we understand that modern operating standards require the highest levels of safety and as such, are looking forward to investigating alternative options to keep this popular attraction running."

It is planned for the old trains to be offered for sale/auction, with proceeds being put towards the replacement trains.

The current service at Hengistbury Head will stop after Sunday January 5 for the current train to be taken away for its annual inspection and pre-season service, with the intention to bring a service back for the spring half term.

The Land Rover service will still operate in January on a pre-booking only service, with three working days’ notice required for bookings - email here.

Train updates will be posted on the Hengistbury Head Land Train Facebook page.