Brakes put on taxi rank move

PUBLISHED: 12:25 21 September 2006 | UPDATED: 09:51 31 May 2010

PLANS to move the taxi rank in Saffron Walden have been scuppered by the town council. The proposal to replace the three-car taxi rank in the Market Square with a six-space stand towards the bottom of the High Street has been met with opposition from Hack

PLANS to move the taxi rank in Saffron Walden have been scuppered by the town council.

The proposal to replace the three-car taxi rank in the Market Square with a six-space stand towards the bottom of the High Street has been met with opposition from Hackney Carriage operators and town councillors.

A town council spokesman said: "Although the existing taxi rank only has three spaces, they are very rarely all full.

"Replacing it with six spaces on the High Street seems excessive.

"Also putting the stand on the High Street would remove six spaces where the public can park, which would be awkward during both the daytime shopping hours and the evening."

The council both the location and the size of the existing Hackney Carriage stand are adequate.

The spokesman said: "There is no need for six spaces and the existing rank is better located.

"The stand in the Market Square is far better for people visiting the shops in the town centre."

Hackney Carriage stands are solely for the use of such licensed operators such as Elite Cars and Five Star Cars.

Private hire companies such as Crocus Cabs and Abel Cabs are forbidden from using the ranks and would be unaffected by any move.

Kevin Cordall, owner of Five Star Cars, would be against any relocation.

He said: "It won't happen. We'd be losing custom, as most of it is in the Market Square area.

"The elderly shopping at Waitrose or the shops around there aren't going to want to walk to the High Street are they?"

But Alan Groom, chairman of the Uttlesford Hackney Carriage Drivers' Association, who also runs Elite Cars, disagrees believing the High Street would be a better location.

He said: "Half the public don't even know where the taxi rank is. It should be by the buses.

"If you go to Cambridge, or Bishop's Stortford, you don't have to walk half a mile to get from the bus stop to the taxi rank.

"If Swan Meadow car park's only 50 per cent full, surely they should be encouraging people to park there rather than the High Street?

"We'll be going back to the district council with a modified proposal.

The town council need to wake up to this because we're not going to take it lying down.

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