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Southampton cabbies call for review of taxi ranks
TAXI drivers in Southampton have called for a review of ranks in the city, saying there are too many taxis and not enough space for them.
Figures from the city’s taxi industry have called on the city council to act after saying there is now a ratio of six taxis to every space in the city.
There are currently 283 licensed hackney carriages which are licensed to park at ranks in the city.
But while the council says there 145 spaces for them across the city, taxi drivers say there are only 94 available to drivers without having to apply for permits to Associated British Ports and just 47 in locations which are regularly used such as Above Bar, Bargate and near to the central station.
Ian Hall, chairman of the Southampton Hackney Association, said: “We are self-employed and we pay fees to the city council to administer our taxis.
“But now we are finding there is not enough space for licensed drivers to park, meaning sometimes they have to park illegally and are easy prey for traffic wardens.”
Perry McMillan, the chairman of the Unite Cab Section South East, said: “We as a taxi trade need rank extension, as much as new ranks.
“Most cabbies return to the same territorial rank, because that's where their colleagues are and most importantly that's where they feel the work is.
A council spokesman said the authority currently has no plans to create any new taxi ranks, but added that constant parking reviews are carried out and requests for new ranks would be considered.
Improvements to taxi ranks will be made both to the north of the central station and on Platform Road as part of two separate council projects.
The spokesman added: “Parking space is a premium in the city and taxi ranks have to compete with other demands for road space.”
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