'Scandalous' - Drivers' anger over city taxi rank move
- Credit: Ben Hardy
Cab drivers have slammed plans to relocate a city taxi rank and close a key street for those travelling towards the railway station.
Norfolk County Council has launched a consultation for the ‘Connecting the Norwich Lanes’ proposals which includes moving the taxi rank from Guildhall Hill to St Peter's Street and Bethel Street near City Hall.
Taxi driver Graham Wilson said he was also concerned about plans to prevent all but delivery traffic using Exchange Street.
Mr Wilson said: "I do not think it would be a good move. My main concern is shutting Exchange Street. If someone wanted to get in my cab to get to the station they would have to go all around the houses and it would cost a fortune.
"Shutting Exchange Street is not good for business whatsoever but the space would be fine if the rank was moved."
There were concerns expressed over elderly customers with shopping bags from Tesco Metro being unable to walk up to City Hall for a taxi, as well as for those using wheelchairs.
One driver, who did not wish to be named, said: "People know where the rank is and it has been here for years so it would be ridiculous to move. There is enough space."
Another anonymous taxi driver said: "This business has been here on this rank for 40 years. It is scandalous what the council is trying to do.
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"Shutting Exchange Street would mean that if someone wanted to go north, we would need to take them the longest way around via St Peter's Street and down Grapes Hill which would cost a fortune. The council should be looking after our taxis more."
The taxi rank move proposals would mean traffic, except delivery vehicles and blue badge holders, would be banned from Gaol Hill.
Council leaders said 'Connecting the Norwich Lanes' would mean improvements for pedestrians and cyclists, improve air quality and boost businesses by providing more opportunities for outdoor dining at cafes and restaurants.
For the full details of the council plans, click here.