Taxi rank plans for Saffron Walden High Street

A NEW taxi rank operating from the bus stops in Saffron Walden High Street could be put into place after the road is resurfaced in September.

A TAXI rank which operates on a part-time basis from the bus stops in Saffron Walden High Street could be put into place after the road is resurfaced in September.

At a meeting of Saffron Walden Town Council on Wednesday, members expressed support for the scheme which would run during the hours when the buses are not in operation.

Chairman of Uttlesford Licensed Operators and Drivers Association, Barry Drinkwater, welcomed the decision.

“There is a taxi rank on Market Street, which has proved to be a very good facility, but for several years now the trade has being pushing for a presence on the High Street,” he said.

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“Having a shared arrangement with the buses is a good compromise and has worked well in Chelmsford and Brentwood. In the longer term we would look to get a full-time dedicated rank.”

Concerns have been raised that an informal rank forms outside ABC Barbeque on George Street, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights. Having an official place where taxis can wait on either side of the High Street could put an end to the illegal touting.

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For the new rank to get the go-ahead it needs to be approved by Essex Police, Essex County Council Highways and the town council.

Licensing officer at Uttlesford District Council, Murray Hardy, said: “When the buses finish then the only form of public transport is the taxis, and looking at the town in the evening you have a lot of people coming out of pubs and restaurants in that area.

“We are mindful that the whole of the High Street is due to resurfaced soon, so we would want a decision by then so the work can be done in one hit.”

A spokesman for Essex County Council Highways said: “A proposal has been put forward to create a part-time taxi rank on Saffron Walden High Street, where taxis will be able to park in the existing bus stop during hours when buses are not in operation. This proposal has been sent to the town council for their consideration.

“There are also plans to resurface the High Street later this year; exact timings are still to be confirmed, but we will carry out this work with minimum disruption to motorists and pedestrians.”

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