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'It's just ludicrous' - Yarmouth cabbies' concerns over taxi rank proposals

PUBLISHED: 13:24 16 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:33 16 July 2019

Gary Hill, 35, and Paul Clutterbuck, 63, taxi drivers in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

Gary Hill, 35, and Paul Clutterbuck, 63, taxi drivers in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

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Great Yarmouth taxi drivers have complained a cab rank move would put them in a "dead area".

Market Gates taxi rank in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Daniel Hickey.Market Gates taxi rank in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

Proposals to rejig the taxi rank at Market Gates shopping centre will be discussed at a meeting of Great Yarmouth Borough Council's licensing committee next week (July 22).

The taxi stand is next to the Troll Cart Wetherspoons and accommodates both taxis and buses.

The front of the rank is for taxis and buses, the middle section is for buses only and the rear of the rank is for taxis only.

A report, written by Norfolk County Council officials, states problems occur when the ranks are full and buses block the road, creating delays and forcing passengers to embark and disembark on the road.

Market Gates taxi rank in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Daniel Hickey.Market Gates taxi rank in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

Changes to the rank proposed by the county council include one 26-metre long bus bay at the northern end of the lay-by, a 45 metre long taxi rank accommodating up to eight cabs in the remainder of the lay-by.

Also proposed is a new taxi rank on the southern side of Market Gates.

It would be 22 metres long and accommodate four cabs.

In the report, taxi drivers, who were not named, responded to the proposals with objections.

One said the new rank is in "a little bit of a dead area".

"Any taxi sitting in this area would be less likely to find hire unless they move to a busier rank.

"The only users of this rank would be the drivers that do not want hire."

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Another driver said under current circumstances the taxis move to accommodate buses whenever possible.

"The main problems occur when a second bus arrives to use the bus stop and stops in the middle of the road to drop off passengers.

"Moving the bus stop to the rear will not solve any problems," the objector said.

The report states the comments were considered but the proposals remain the same.

Paul Clutterbuck, 63, who owns a cab company, said: "When you think all the money every taxi puts into the town, but we're treated as the bottom of the rung.

"It's just ludicrous. Buses and taxis should be separated," he said.

Gary Hill, 35, a taxi driver, said the proposals are "not going to solve anything".

"They're just going to cause more problems and cause aggro between taxis."

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