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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:52 pm 

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 5:33 am
Posts: 6830
Would really have to know the locality to assess this, but sounds like trying to add some order to a chaotic nighttime scenario, with the area possibly used as an unofficial rank already.

But police having none of it, but whether the rank would help or hinder things isn't clear. Could write a short book about our own nighttime rank, but the council came up with two different relocation proposals over a couple of years, and both would have made things a whole lot worse in my opinion, but luckily the plans were shelved. The third and final proposal was simply to extend the current rank, which would have been the best option in my opinion, but when it finally got to council a couple of councillors kiboshed it because it would inconvenience other businesses.

Which seems more in the realms of people behind desks and in committee rooms rather than the real world, so whether the police inspector's take here is similarly out of touch is anyone's guess [-(

Police warn Southend Council over taxi rank plan on Warrior Square ... or-square/

Image: Google/Yellow Advertiser

A council plan to introduce a taxi rank in the centre of Southend is in jeopardy after a complaint was received from Essex Police, calling the plan “unwise”.

Southend Council is considering introducing a permanent taxi rank on Warrior Square and has been taking feedback from various organisations across the borough.

The feedback has led to a major setback after Essex Police wrote to the council to raise a series of objections, including concerns that it will hinder the movement of emergency vehicles.

The space would be dual use, with taxis using it from 7pm until 7am on weekdays and from 1pm until 8am on weekends. The rest of the time it will be a loading bay.

The police say if it goes ahead it will “prohibit the movement of vehicles not engaged in licensed taxi activities – including emergency vehicles”, it would also impact CCTV monitoring, hinder efforts by local nightclubs to prevent people gathering in the area and restrict nightclub evacuation plans.

A letter sent to the council by Southend’s Community Policing Inspector Ian Hughes, notes: “I am aware that this location has been used by taxi’s to pull up intermittently for many years, however I personally feel agreeing to this to be a permanent site is unwise.”

The inspector adds that it would also not be in line with “licensing objectives”.

The council’s deputy leader Councillor Ron Woodley insisted the objection does not mean the plan has to be abandoned.

He said: “We do need to consider every reason for an objection but some points we are already addressing.

“One issue raised by the police is about the impact this could have on CCTV monitoring but we are reviewing our CCTV system in the borough anyway.

“It is up to the licensing committee to take their view on board and make a decision.”

Consideration for the Warrior Square taxi rank comes as the council confirmed it has also rearranged bus stops and taxi ranks outside Southend University Hospital following concerns raised about safety on Prittlewell Chase.

In August the licensing committee approved a plan to move hospital bus shelters 100 metres west of their previous location to make sure passengers are not left crossing the road when there is heavy congestion. The taxi ranks have also been rearranged.

Mr Woodley added: “I am pleased these works have been completed and am confident these changes will benefit bus users, those needing taxis and also drivers who use this stretch of road, which is one of the town’s main thoroughfares.”

The installation of the Warrior Square taxi rank will be considered by a licensing committee on Friday morning.

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