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'James Bond' river rides on the way?

'James Bond' river rides on the way?

Francis Batt

'James Bond' river rides on the way?
Watch out for the 'river bus'

Visitors to Windsor could soon be using tour buses that plunge 'James Bond style' into the river - thanks to lifelong boat enthusiast Graham Lumley.

Graham, 48, a father-of-two who lives in Bolton Crescent, wants to make the town the latest place in the UK to run amphibious tours - known to some as 'duck tours'.

They already operate in a handful of sites across the country, using quaint yellow buses that transform into boats to drive their passengers at speed into the river to continue their journey.

Graham, whose dad Barry built the marina at Windsor Racecourse, outlined his plan yesterday at a meeting of the Royal Borough's visitor management forum. He wants to set up six-mile tours round Windsor that would take passengers from road into the Thames and back again.

He said: "I think it could be a really exciting way of looking round Windsor. It is all about that moment when you splash into the water."

His idea was warmly received at the forum meeting. Among those present was Doctor David Murray-Bruce, chairman of Windsor and Eton Society - which campaigns to maintain the town's heritage.

Dr Murray-Bruce said: "I used to see these buses on the river when I worked at the Houses of Parliament, passing up and down the river. They are terrific and would be a real asset to Windsor."

The buses Graham plans to use are based on Second World War landing craft, modified to meet modern safety and environmental standards. They are about nine metres long and seat about 38 at a time.

But Graham says he is not counting his chickens, as permission has to be granted first by the Royal Borough.

Graham is a former pupil at Altwood School, Maidenhead. He is married to Mo. His son Edward, 17, goes to Windsor Boys School and his daughter Amelia, 13, to Charters School in Sunningdale.

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