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Informal consultation about Ferryhill taxi ranks underway
PRELIMINARY proposals to relocate taxi ranks in Ferryhill have been given the red right by town councillors.
Taxi waiting zones on Market Street are only meant to be used on evenings but are frequently used around the clock.
To free up that space in front of shops and to reduce congestion on the street, Durham County Council has suggested moving taxis to two new ranks.
It is now consulting interested parties for help to shape its plans, which it is working on after starting to enforce waiting restrictions in the south of the county and noticing the potential to make better use of highway space.
At a meeting of Ferryhill Town Council on Wednesday, all members felt a suggestion to use a section of the parking area alongside Ferryhill Town Hall, on Chapel Terrace, for taxis was a bad idea.
They agreed with concerns raised by clerk Derek Snowball that the space is heavily used by staff, residents and visitors to nearby businesses and the health centre.
Turning part of it over to taxis would create major traffic issues and negative public reaction, he said.
Coun Joe Makepeace also felt it is too close to people’s homes.
Opinion was divided over another suggestion, to use four bays in the town centre parking area, on Market Place.
Coun Brian Gibson said: “The taxis now double park and block the road, they are a hazard to disabled people.
“I think putting four in the Market Place would be ideal, it would ease that problem.”
Coun Makepeace added: “The main car park is not well used after 6pm and four bays seems a reasonable amount.
“We don’t want to lose taxi drivers from the town centre, I believe they are unpaid security and would report anything they witness like vandalism.”
But Pauline Crathorne said the town council had put a limit of two hours stay in the main car park to encourage residents to shop in Ferryhill and the loss of four bays would go against that.
She said: “Double parking is the issue, I say no to both suggestions and ask the clerk to say we are not happy.
“It is the county’s problem, they are not policing it.”
Members voted to reject both of the county council's proposals.
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