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New Taxi Ranks Planned For Guildford Town Centre

Published on: 1 Jun, 2016
Updated on: 2 Jun, 2016
New taxi rank High Street

One of the new taxi ranks will be created here near the bottom of Guildford High Street

Six new taxi ranks are to be created in Guildford town centre to improve access for taxi users. It is hoped it will mean that those wishing to take a cab, especially in the evening, will have less distance to walk.

The new ranks will be at:
Bedford Road – 7 spaces (18.00 to 08.30 daily)
Adjacent to Bedford Road Surface Car Park
North Street (upper) – 11 spaces (24 hour operation)
 Outside Vinyl Night Club and TGI Friday
North Street (lower) – 6 spaces (24 hour operation)
 Outside Marks and Spencer and Paperchase
High Street – 4 spaces (18.00 to 08.30 daily)
 Outside Vision Express
Upper High Street – 5 spaces (18.00 to 08.30 daily)
 Outside Pizza Express and Oxfam
Millbrook (A281) – 4 spaces (22:30 to 04:30 daily)
 Opposite The Legion nightclub

Consent from the Highways Authority has been obtained and the proposal has been agreed with Surrey Police and local taxi drivers.

Views in support and against the proposals received during a public consultation period were considered and the Guildford Borough Council (GBC) Executive, at their Millmead meeting last night (May 31), decided to proceed but any complaints will be monitored.

Cllr Graham Ellwood with taxi proprietor Richard Gough.

Cllr Graham Ellwood (left) with taxi proprietor Richard Gough photographed when the new taxi livery was introduced.

Cllr Graham Ellwood (Con, Merrow), lead councillor for licensing and community safety, said: “I am delighted we now have agreed these new ranks coming to Guildford as both the trade and the police welcome the additional spaces. The public will now have a wider and more convenient choice of places to pick up a cab and the drivers will be better placed to pick up fares.

“Illegal touting by other vehicles will be made more difficult and passengers will have a shorter trip to find a taxi. Also, all the licensed taxis won’t be congregating and leaving one part of Guildford at the same time.”

Cllr Caroline Reeves (Lib Dem Friary & St Nicolas) questioned how it might affect the operation of Guildford’s “Street Angels” who often help those who have drunk too much. It was agreed that the extra ranks might assist, as the Angels regularly have to guide those they help to taxi cabs.

Cllr David Bilbe (Con, Normandy) observed that the additional ranks, by spreading the available taxis further, might also alleviate the long queues of taxis that form at the railway station.

The new ranks, estimated to cost in the region of £20-25,000, will be in place later this year. Costs are recoverable through the licence fees charged to taxis and the council  budget for 2016/17 includes an allocation for providing taxi ranks.

Last week (May 24) magistrates at Redhill ruled that the new Guildford Borough Council taxi livery requirement is a condition of the hackney carriage licence and can therefore be challenged. 

Another hearing set for July 5 will consider whether the council’s livery requirement is reasonably necessary or not. GBC might be liable for costs if the decision goes against them.

Cllr Ellwood said: “I am unable to comment as the issue is sub judice.”

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Responses to New Taxi Ranks Planned For Guildford Town Centre

  1. Mark Rostron Reply

    June 1, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    The taxi driver who challenged Guildford Borough Council [GBC] has already been awarded his costs of the May hearing, which will include £2,400 barristers fee and any additional costs he has for loss of earnings etc.

    GBC will have to pay this at the cost of Council Tax payers. Additionally, the council will be liable for further costs if they lose the actual licence condition appeal hearing.

    The total cost to the council could be £10,000. These costs could be repeated for each of the 200 taxi drivers who wish to challenge the council livery requirement. That amounts to £2 million. A very costly mistake by Guildford Borough Council at the expense of Guildford people. A resigning issue really.

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