Taxi drivers’ plea for 24 hour rank

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MEMBERS of a taxi association are urging officials to rethink the hours of a rank in order to get it better used.

They argue that plans to turn the Lumley Road shared area of the rank, near to the Tower Cinema, into a 24 hour site, have been knocked back in the past due to ‘bus companies’ saying they need it despite its ‘under use’

Darrell Blackburn, chairman of the Skegness Taxi Owners’ Association, says the shared section, which can be used as a rank from 7pm to 7am, could be better utilised and claims the buses hardly use it.

“The space is just sitting there empty and it could be used better as an extended rank. It’s okay us having the rank from 7pm but lots of people have gone home by then and it’s a well-established taxi rank that people use,” said Mr Blackburn.

If extended, it could mean an extra few cars could park there in the day allowing the taxi trade to take advantage of the increased footfall during the summer break.

“It’s been busy for us since the kids broke up from school but before, it was a bit hit and miss. The last 10 days have been good too and the town has been packed out,” he added.

Despite there being two 24 hour ranks on the seafront, one opposite The Lucky Strike complex and another near Scarborough esplanade, Mr Blackburn claims the sites are hardly used because people don’t know that they are there and using the Lumley Road site more, would take advantage of passing trade.

Now the Skegness Taxi Owners’ Association intends to take the issue to Skegness Town Council’s full meeting, set for tonight at 7pm, to voice its concerns.

“We’ve already written to Lincolnshire County Council Highways and planning about it and we’ve chosen not to go to East Lindsey District Council because our concerns are not listened to and they don’t seem interested,” explained Mr Blackburn.

Ian Mickleburgh, senior highways officer for LCC, said: “We realise there is a demand to use this stretch of road, not only by buses and taxis, but for loading and unloading too. Once powers for civil parking enforcement are introduced in the autumn, we’ll work with the district and town council to look at potential amendments to parking here and elsewhere.”

And James Gilbert, communications team leader, for ELDC, said: “We cannot amend taxi rank arrangements without the consent of the county council and we have no strong views on this rank.”