Workington taxi rank idea comes under fire
Last updated at 19:56, Thursday, 26 July 2012
Council chiefs have moved to quash fears that Workington’s night-time taxi rank may be moved into the town centre pedestrian area.
The controversial idea remains one of several options being considered as the answer to problems with the present taxi rank at Washington Street.
Town centre development manager Dave Fletcher this week said the idea of using Risman Place, within the £120 million Washington Square pedestrian complex, as a night-time rank came as a shock to him.
He said: “It won’t be happening because it’s a pedestrian area and it would turn into a rat-run.
“No vehicles are allowed down there, not even for loading at shops. We only allow fire engines through. The shops won’t be happy.”
Angela Kendall, Allerdale licensing committee chairman, responded: “Contrary to popular rumour there are no plans yet in place to relocate the current taxi rank to the pedestrianised area of Risman Place.”
She said the Risman Place option was one of several being considered to resolve issues with the existing rank.
Other initial options include moving the rank to Murray Road, to Jane Street or the Udale car park outside Marks & Spencer.
The council’s licensing committee met on Wednesday and agreed to launch a consultation.
A report said issues on Washington Street had resulted in fines, cautions and enforcement action.
It said: “Problems are created by drivers themselves, performing dangerous manoeuvres, including U-turns, parking through the traffic lights and up Ramsay Brow.
“This blocks the road, preventing the traffic from flowing.
“Complaints have been received from the emergency services about taxis blocking the route.
“This is exacerbated by the fact that the rank is not big enough to accommodate the number of taxis.”
Taxi drivers approached the council and Cumbria police with alternative sites.
On the option to use Risman Place and Steelmen Walk, with a rank facing on to Washington Street, the report said: “The idea would ensure that people got into the first taxi on the rank, instead of the normal culture of seeing who is the cheapest.”
The council stressed that other suggestions were welcome and that nothing had been decided.
Members agreed to consult with the highways authority, police, town council, ambulance and fire services, Mr Fletcher, the Theatre Royal, and pubs and shops on Washington Street.
The public are welcome to comment and once the consultation closes on October 1, the licensing committee will discuss the next steps.
Email licensing@allerdale. gov.uk or call 01900 702720 to take part in the consultation.
First published at 19:25, Thursday, 26 July 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
why do we need so many taxi drivers sat on washington st, fair enough they are needed when all the pubs and clubs are shutting but not until then
WE need the HIGHWAY CODE brought back into law as the TAXI drivers do not it,or ignore it. There are too many taxis on the streets of Workington and they break the law. Taxi drivers accused a mate of illegally parking in a taxi rank years ago on Washington St before it was made a taxi rank. Taxis wait on Murry Rd pedestrian crossing not booked, complaints have been made to Allerdale