Many Cumbrian residents are calling on Coca-Cola to rethink its decision not to bring its 2018 Christmas truck tour to Cumbria.

It is the second year running the fizzy drinks giant has chosen not to stop in the county.

And it comes after local health chiefs caused controversy last year, telling the festive red truck to stay away.

They claimed the tour is nothing to do with Christmas, and is just an excuse to promote sugary drinks to children.

But it caused an outcry among fans of the truck, made famous by the Holidays are Coming adverts, with many hoping it would return this year.

But Coca-Cola has now confirmed its 2018 UK tour schedule - and Cumbria is not on it.

The last time the truck visited was in 2016, when families flocked to see it at Carlisle’s Kingstown.

This year they will have to travel to Newcastle, or further afield.

The announcement has been met with a mixed reaction locally.

More than 100 readers took to the News & Star Facebook page to express their views.

Some said the truck was part of festive tradition and blamed public health leaders for it staying away.

But others were pleased, saying the truck had nothing to do with Christmas.

Tracey Farish wrote: “Let it come back. It’s part of Christmas. Put things into perspective, it’s once a year and people will drink and eat what they like. Stop being killjoys.”

Joy Lightfoot added: “It was always the start of Christmas in town. Bah humbug.”

But Deborah Blair said: “Can’t see what Coke has to do with Christmas.”

And Martin Armstrong added: “If a massive corporate advert is a big part of your Christmas, then you need to get a life.”

Kat Mcmahon’s post called for Coca-Cola to make a return. “Bring it back. They’re not forcing folk to drink the stuff. It’s just nice for kids to see the truck,” she said.

Aaron Lee Gibson added: “Totally ridiculous. A truck coming once a year isn’t going to cause obesity.”

However Helen Deal is not a fan. She wrote: “The Coca-Cola truck has never been part of my Christmas and I’m almost 30. Couldn’t give two hoots if it never returned.”

Nicola Holmes added: “Couldn’t care less, it’s a truck!”

There was also a debate about whether it contributed to obesity, and whether other factors - such as the number of fast food outlets and the opening of new bars - were being ignored.

The truck takes to the road this Friday, stopping first in Glasgow.

The nearest location to Cumbria is Newcastle on Wednesday, November 14. It will then visit Morpeth on Thursday and Friday.

Other locations include Sheffield, Manchester and Cardiff.