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Council to close Durham taxi rank
A NIGHT-time city centre taxi rank overwhelmed by long queues of vehicles stretching into residential areas is to be abandoned.
Since Durham County Council deregulated the taxi trade 12 months ago, hundreds of cabs have been fighting for trade in Durham City – leading to noisy queues up Claypath and Gilesgate into the early hours.
Now the council is to close Claypath’s night-time taxi rank, replacing it with a new rank down the slip road to the Prince Bishops shopping centre entrance. This will operate from 6pm to 8am.
The current Claypath taxi rank will then be available for public parking after 6pm.
A day-time rank, on the slip road behind Clayport Library, will continue to operate from 8am to 9pm.
The new arrangements will come in on a six-month trial starting on Friday, October 26.
Councillor Bob Young, the council’s cabinet member for strategic environment, said: “I hope the revised trial will relieve the residential area of the problems experienced and provide a suitable
city centre location for taxis while offering a convenient rank for night-time visitors to the city.
“It is crucial we find the right balance for all and it is testament to our desire to listen and to respond to residents’ concerns that we are introducing this new system.”
John Ashby, who lives in the Claypath area, welcomed the changes, saying they would stop cabbies queuing for trade parking on Claypath.
He had no problem with public parking on Claypath, he added.
However, Adrian Fets, of STL Cabs, said the changes were introduced without consultation with cabbies and would make the situation worse.
“There’s room on the new rank for about eight cars. We’ll be queuing all the way down onto the carriageway and it’s going to block that road.
“It’s an absolute disgrace – absolutely mental. It’s going to be total chaos.
“Taxis will still pick up on Claypath. That’s where people will expect taxis to be.”
Coun Young called on cabbies to queue safely and responsibly and warned the council and the police would enforce the changes where necessary.
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