Source AP ©

Santa Claus to ride by bus this holiday season

A town in northern England will put Santa Claus on a bus this holiday season.

The problem? Insurance.

The Alnwick Lions, the charity fundraiser that organizes the visits, said an insurance problem made it impossible this year to stage the event as normal - with Santa riding through Alnwick town and surrounding villages on a sleigh mounted on a trailer owned by Alnwick District Council.

"Our insurance company has told us that our insurance would not be valid, as the Alnwick Lions' use would not be classed as part of our core business," the council said in a statement.

"We always try to help with community projects, but regrettably this is out of our hands," the statement said.

Graham Luke, of the Alnwick Lions, told the Northumberland Gazette newspaper: "It is very frustrating because it is a tradition that has been going on for so long."

He said Britain was following the U.S. example of rising insurance rates and lawsuit claims.

"We have become Americanized - that's the best way of putting it," Luke was quoted as saying.

But Alnwick's children will not miss out on Santa's visits altogether. A local company has come to the rescue by lending the Lions a bus to ferry Santa around this year.

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