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Taxi rank plans welcomed but ‘must go further’
12:00pm Wednesday 24th October 2012 in Witney
TAXI drivers have said a council plan to extend a taxi rank in Witney does not go far enough to relieve congestion problems.
West Oxfordshire District Council plans to extend the Market Square taxi rank and create a new three-space rank by Marriotts Walk Shopping Centre in Welch Way.
But taxi drivers said the Marriotts Walk rank will not be well used and the Market Square rank extension does not go far enough.
The number of licensed vehicles has increased by 30 per cent in the past five years and there are 140 vehicles and 237 drivers in West Oxfordshire.
Steve Ring, who runs Ringo’s Taxis, said: “The existing rank does need to be made bigger because there are so many taxis out there now. It is dangerous. Sometimes they park down to Welch Way roundabout and are blocking the road.”
Christopher Aries, a director at MJ Taxis, said the eight spaces on the rank by the Woolgate Centre were not enough.
He said: “I welcome the extra positions, but the council needs to speak to us about what we think about where they should go.” Damian McClure, proprietor of Damo’s Taxis, said he did not receive many calls from the Marriotts Walk area but agreed with the extension for Market Square.
The eight-space rank in Market Square has remained unchanged since 1991.
About 100,000 people visit Witney a week. Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, has indicated the cost of the plan would be about £1,500. It will be debated by councillors at a licensing sub-committee meeting on Friday.
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