PRESSURE is mounting on rail bosses to find a solution for the ongoing “nightmare” of long queues of taxis snaking outside Brighton Station.
Residents enduring daily disturbances have called on Govia Thameslink Railway to “pick up the slack” and find an alternative site for the busy rank.
Councillors said the current layout had been an issue for years and caused a blight on the life of residents in Surrey Street.
GTR said positive discussions with the council had been held but warned moving the rank required considerable consultation.
Relocating the rank is not backed by all taxi drivers who say it will make journeys longer for passengers and increase air pollution.
The issue of taxis blocking up and causing noise nuisance for Surrey Street has persisted despite a £1.5 million refurbishment – a move residents claim has exacerbated the problem by narrowing the street.
Green Councillor Pete West said at Tuesday’s transport committee meeting it had been an absolute blight on the lives of residents and was affecting a major transport hub.
He added: “This issue has had a lack of progress over many years. It needs a stronger light to be shone upon it. GTR have been extremely resistant, I’m glad to hear now they are more sympathetic for a plan first proposed five years ago.”
Councillor Leo Littman said the last few years had been “totally unacceptable and a “long-term solution” would require partnership work with GTR and taxi companies.
Councillor Gill Mitchell, transport committee chairwoman, criticised the gateway refurbishment planned under the Green administration. She said: “We are shining a light on the very unfortunate consequence of the flawed gateway project. The taxi rank should have been moved to the back of the station and we are having to respond to the mess. I hope sooner rather than later we can come to an agreement with GTR.”
A GTR spokesman said tailbacks in Surrey Street were caused by the volume of traffic at the one-way system and compounded by Terminus Road traffic and the busy bus interchange.
He said: “Positive discussions have taken place with the council and a further meeting is planned when we hope to bring a solution closer.”
He warned moving the rank to the back of the station had to be carefully thought through because of the high use of Stroudley Road for pick up and drop offs, rail replacement buses, disabled parking, the entrance to the 600 space station car park, the Jurys Inn hotel and a newly built apartment complex.
He added despite owning the road, the decision was not solely theirs but required a high degree of consultation with affected parties especially considering the unpopularity of a temporary rank in Terminus Road last year.
Source : The Argus