BOURNEMOUTH is lacking ambition in its big vision thinking and ideas – such as a light railway from the airport or an iconic building, Tobias Ellwood has said. 

Mr Ellwood, who is fighting to retain the Bournemouth East seat, has called for greater ideas across the town to make Bournemouth “an attractive place”. 

Speaking to the Echo, the 57-year-old said Bournemouth needs a light railway connecting the beach and the airport, like in Nottingham or Newcastle. 

Proposing the route, he said it could go down the Wessex Way, via JP Morgan, past the football club, onto the main railway line and then onto the beach. 

“You could then do a loop around the beach if you widen it and have like what they have in Blackpool, a tramway,” he said. 

The Shard, in LondonThe Shard, in London

“There are all sorts of clever things to do that could advance Bournemouth to be an attractive place. 

“There’s no big-vision thinking about our transport infrastructure. Yes, we’ve got some interesting bus networks, but people coming to visit want to be impressed, be wowed.” 

As reported, Bournemouth Airport bosses are in early stage talks about expanding its terminal and travel interchange. 

Years ago, there was talk about Bournemouth getting a monorail running through the town to ease congestion: something Mr Ellwood foresaw as a problem when he suggested it. 

But these days, he said the town looks “for the next chess move” rather than planning for years ahead, adding retaining the axed air show is crucial to Bournemouth’s offering. 

Bournemouth beachBournemouth beach (Image: Daily Echo)

“When I was shadow tourism minister, I would go to places and say ‘right if Royal Mail is going to come along and do five stamps for your area, what would they be?’ 

“And I would struggle with Bournemouth. We have eight miles of sand, but a beach is a beach. We need an iconic building. 

“The Spinnaker Tower, you know where you are. The Angel of the North, you know where you are. The Shard, you also know where you are. 

“We had a balloon for a while, but we need bigger thinking.” 

He added: “The ambitions of BCP are all so short term. We’ve got the airport wishing to reconsider, upgrade, look to the future, plan for the long term. Let's roll in behind this and reconsider advancing a metro system or light railway for BCP.”