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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Shops boss says moving Workington taxis is 'rank' idea

The man responsible for Workington’s shopping centre is furious that a taxi rank could be slapped in the middle.

Dave Fletcher photo
Dave Fletcher

Plans have been revealed to move the town’s existing night-time rank in a bid to stop problems with taxis lining up for fares on Washington Street.

And one of the options put forward is to relocate the rank on Risman Place – a pedestrianised street full of shops.

Dave Fletcher, the centre’s development manager, is outraged that Allerdale Council is even considering these plans, saying it “will never happen”.

When the News & Star contacted Mr Fletcher he said he was not even aware of the idea, but he would look into it immediately.

“It won’t be happening because its a pedestrian area and it would just turn into a rat-run,” said Mr Fletcher. “People walk through at night-times, looking at the shop windows.

“We don’t allow shops to put metal shutters down so they can do this. No vehicles are allowed down there – not even for loading at shops. We only allow fire engines through. The shops won’t be happy about this. This has came as a shock to me.”

Sinclair’s Jewellers has traded in the town centre for the past 65 years. Six years ago it moved into its Risman Place premises.

Owner Ross Sinclair said that he had “never heard anything as ridiculous”.

“It is a hideous and stupid idea,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned it’s a shopping precinct and a place for people to walk.

“You won’t find it in any other town centre – it’s bizarre and I can’t believe this will ever go through.”

Mr Sinclair said that he would be worried that gangs of revellers would hang around the shops at night-times waiting for taxis.

“I don’t want my windows smashed. We can’t put shutters on the outside of our properties and it would only take somebody to lark around and smash a window.”

The idea of moving the rank has came about after problems at the current taxi rank which have resulted in cabbies being fined and cautioned. A more visible location could reduce this and taxi drivers approached Allerdale Council and Cumbria Police with alternative sites for ranks.

Allerdale’s licensing panel, which meets on Wednesday, is being asked to agree to a consultation with taxi drivers about a better location.

Other options include the lay-by on Jane Street opposite Sadies Takeaway, Murray Road and the Udale Street car park by Marks and Spencer.

The licensing panel is recommended to agree to a consultation.

Any more options could also be discussed.

Have your say

Whoever suggested udale street for a taxi rank obviously has no idea that residents live on there. I dont know anyone who would be happy with a taxi rank outside their home. The taxi rank is fine where it is, the driving is the problem that needs to be addressed and this can be done easily without making residents lives hell!

Posted by anon on 22 October 2012 at 20:45

@Albert

Have you ever needed a taxi at chucking out time? No, I thought not.

What a silly question.

Posted by Derek on 2 August 2012 at 08:52

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