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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:09 am 
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New thread :-o


New Brighton Station taxi rank is 'chaos' says cabbies

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/1806011 ... s-cabbies/

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Image: Brighton Argus

TAXI drivers say a new station rank is “chaos” and are asking the public to demand the decision be reversed.

The cabbies, who pay about £1,000 to pick up passengers at Brighton Station, were shifted from its forecourt earlier this month.

The decision, made by Govia Thameslink Railway and Brighton and Hove City Council, was to address concerns about the rank’s size and resulting congestion.

The taxis have been moved to the back of the station, in Stroudley Road, and the forecourt has been converted into a “covered pedestrian plaza”.

But since the move, furious drivers have complained about traffic, fares and Uber drivers.

Cabbies said that over the weekend the chaos getting out the station meant passengers were paying up to £10 more per journey.

During the 30 minutes The Argus spent at the rank yesterday, about 15 Uber drivers – who operate differently and do not have to answer to the council – picked up passengers just a few metres from the rank, bypassing it completely.

Image
Image: Brighton Argus

Uber cabs are booked in advance and prepaid through a phone.

Taxi driver Ahmed Kokunc, a cabbie in the city for six years, said: “Nobody is happy, it is not good for the drivers and it is not good for the passengers.

“Last weekend was horrible. We pay about £1,000 for this, I just want them to change it back.”

Cabbie Andrew Peters has started a petition to get the public to demand taxis be moved back to the station forecourt and already has 200 signatures.

It says: “Let the council know you are unhappy with the chaos at the back of the station, unhappy with the higher fares for journeys and unhappy with there being no provision for a rank at the front of the station.

“The Brighton and Hove taxi trade would like to sincerely apologise for the chaos caused by the closure of the taxi rank. We warned of extra disruption for taxis trying to access and leave the rank. Taxis are now getting stuck in Stroudley Road when mixing with traffic accessing the main station car park and drop-off point.

“This means increased fares for customers and frustration for both parties.”

GTR said the front of the station “simply isn’t fit for purpose for taxis” but “are listening to the concerns raised by taxi drivers and have been working with the council to see what improvements can be made”.

A council spokeswoman said: “Moving the taxis to the north of the station is already bringing improvements for pedestrians and to the movement of public transport around the station.

“It is also expected that air quality will improve as a direct result of the move.

“Any change will always need to be monitored, and any issues ironed out as they occur.

“We are already working with GTR to improve how the rank works after listening to the drivers’ concerns.”
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This is the text of the petition, from the aforementioned Mr Peters.

Interesting, too, that the GTR wanted to shove the HCs out completely when rail replacement services are required, but looks like there's been some sort of compromise.

https://www.change.org/p/brighton-hove- ... n-gb%3Av13

The Brighton & Hove Taxi Trade would like to sincerely apologise for the chaos caused by the closure of the taxi rank at the front of the station and its relocation to the rear as this now directly affects anyone seeking to get a taxi there.

Due to pressure from the council GTR (Govia Thameslink Railways) moved the rank against warnings from the taxi trade of the obvious problems of longer journeys and higher fares for customers.

We warned of extra disruption for taxis trying to access and leave the rank with added traffic congestion in Fleet Street, New England Street & the North Laines area.

During the first week of the relocated rank it was proven that the concerns were correct. Taxis are now getting stuck in Stroudley Road when mixing with traffic accessing the main station car park & drop off point. This means increased fares for customers & frustration for both parties.

GTR wanted to close the rank when the Rail Replacement Buses were in use leaving passengers without the facility to access a taxi at all. This was unacceptable.

GTR has received complaints every day since the opening of the new rank and to some degree has taken notice as GTR will now be making provision for taxis when the Rail Replacement Buses are used. However this means that the rank will be moved even further from the back of the station beyond the Jurys Hotel entrance, the trade once again apologises for this added disruption.

We would also like to apologise to train passengers who are now getting soaking wet when queuing at the rank under the inadequate canopy.

Also extremely frustrating is that the removal of the rank at the front of the station means there is no taxi rank serving Queens Road and surrounding streets, the area Brighton & Hove council has called the ‘Gateway to the city’.

What can the public do to help?

Sign this petition to let Brighton & Hove council know that you are unhappy with the chaos at the back of the station, unhappy with the higher fares for journeys and unhappy there being no provision for a rank at the front of the station.

Thank you for taking the time to read this information.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:12 am 
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Quote:
During the 30 minutes The Argus spent at the rank yesterday, about 15 Uber drivers – who operate differently and do not have to answer to the council – picked up passengers just a few metres from the rank, bypassing it completely.

Not sure what the precise point is here - I mean, pre-booked cars picking up while the HCs ranked up nearby? Who knew?

Maybe the HCs and PHVs are all just getting in each other's ways a bit more with the new layout, but who knows?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:03 pm 
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Not sure what the precise point is here - I mean, pre-booked cars picking up while the HCs ranked up nearby? Who knew?

When the rank was at the front they didn't see the vast amount of work they have lost to Uber, who were and are picking up from the back.

Now they see it in front of their eyes.

When I say they I mean those that work the ranks, as the work being picked up at the back by Uber was never radio/app work.

But it is now.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:21 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
When the rank was at the front they didn't see the vast amount of work they have lost to Uber, who were and are picking up from the back.

Now they see it in front of their eyes.


Yes, had a feeling it was something like that - just a bit more 'in your face', kind of thing. While the Argus makes it sound like there's something iffy going on.

Reminds me of a less radical redesign at our own station a few years ago.

Prior to that bus passengers would walk away from the taxis on exiting the station, and it would all take place out of view behind a big bush :roll:

Now it's all a bit more cramped, with the passengers having to walk past the cabs. Then they stand at the bus stop near the front of the rank :roll:

Then the buses arrive, often boxing the taxis in :roll:

And there's not enough room for them to get on the bus stop properly, so they sometimes swing dangerously close to the taxi in pole. Either that or they don't sit properly on the stop, making it more difficult for taxis to get out :roll:

That's not to mention that the new station exit is half way up the rank, so occasionally drivers grab a fare from the middle of the rank, while the cab in pole could have been waiting a couple of hours :roll:


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:09 pm 
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That's not to mention that the new station exit is half way up the rank, so occasionally drivers grab a fare from the middle of the rank, while the cab in pole could have been waiting a couple of hours :roll:

Nothing like the 'workers united'. :sad:

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 8:28 pm 
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More changes for drop off at Brighton station

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/1806946 ... n-station/

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Image: The Argus

DRIVERS will no longer be able to pick up and drop off family and friends at the turning circle at the back of Brighton station.

The move is a knock-on effect of the decision to move the taxi rank from the front of the station to the rear.

Passengers have already complained about higher cab fares and being stuck in the congestion in the New England and Preston Circus area since the changes.

And cabbies have complained that Uber and other private hire drivers are also picking up passengers from the rank where taxi drivers pay £900 a year for a permit.

Private cars used to be able to pick up and drop off passengers at the front of the station before it was converted into a food court.

Now cabbies have been banished too. Neighbours had complained about the problems in Surrey Street which was made much narrower a few years ago when the road was redesigned and the pavements extended.

The most recent changes have led to heated exchanges at the back at the station as taxi and private hire drivers and people collecting or dropping off family and friends jostle for space.

Cabbies initially blamed station operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) for the changes which took effect on Monday 11 November.

But GTR said that it had acted at the request of Brighton and Hove City Council.

Among the concerns are how much harder it will be for passengers with disabilities and limited mobility to get to and from a train.

And when rail replacement buses operate, even taxi drivers will not be able to pick up fares from the new rank.

GTR is believed to be planning to use the front of the station for more shops or other retail space.

The problems were discussed by the council’s Licensing Committee at Brighton Town Hall yesterday (Thursday 28 November) with cabbies sending video footage of some of the problems before the meeting.

Labour councillor Jackie O’Quinn, who chairs the Licensing Committee, said: “What has arisen since the introduction of the new rank is the huge frustration of the taxi drivers that things have not been sorted out.

“Taxi drivers are trying to rank up at the back of the station when there are private vehicles at the back of the station. That is a difficult area anyway as it is so busy.”

She asked that the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee look at the problems too.

She added: “It is a real hot potato in the North Laine.

“The residents’ association is concerned about taxis going around the area.”

Conservative councillor Lee Wares said that the council needed to take some responsibility for the problems.

He said that the rank was moved after campaigns by residents in Surrey Street after changes to the front of the station pushed more taxis into their road.

He said that the taxi trade needed to be “properly” consulted about future changes.

Councillor Wares said: “We are seeing increased fares for passengers at the back because we know those roads and junctions are clogged up a lot.

“It beggars belief that we’re having a discussion about things such as traffic light systems and putting up signs because this has been talked about for so long that you would think before we pressed go all this should have been in place.

“We are chasing our tails trying to fix a problem that’s a lot worse than the one we tried to fix.”

Licensing manager Jim Whitelegg said that the shared space between the taxi rank, private hire and the public was causing the problem.

He said: “The land is not owned by the council so we don’t have control over what’s going on.

“The impact on the taxi trade is extremely important to the city and the council so we have tried to engage with GTR to come up with some options that we hope will improve the situation but it is still early days.”

When railway engineering work takes place, the rank will be moved further down Stroudley Road to leave space for rail replacement buses.

Station staff will have to call taxis to the station for disabled travellers.

Private cars and private hire vehicles will be moved to a new drop off area within the car park. Signs for the changes will go up in Billinton Way.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:27 am 
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Sussex wrote:
Quote:
That's not to mention that the new station exit is half way up the rank, so occasionally drivers grab a fare from the middle of the rank, while the cab in pole could have been waiting a couple of hours :roll:

Nothing like the 'workers united'. :sad:



Here 60 to 70 percent of all fares get in the last taxi on the rank because too many of the drivers kept refusing small fares so now if they are going somewhere local they go for the rear taxi

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:44 pm 
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edders23 wrote:
Sussex wrote:
Quote:
That's not to mention that the new station exit is half way up the rank, so occasionally drivers grab a fare from the middle of the rank, while the cab in pole could have been waiting a couple of hours :roll:

Nothing like the 'workers united'. :sad:



Here 60 to 70 percent of all fares get in the last taxi on the rank because too many of the drivers kept refusing small fares so now if they are going somewhere local they go for the rear taxi


I can see why the drivers at the rear don’t mind taking them (they’re basically jumping the queue) but why don’t the drivers who are second off report the first driver ? I would, no problem. I’d also give the details to the passenger and tell them who to complain to.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:25 pm 
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because the council views that as against consumer rights a passenger has the right to choose which taxi not be told which one to take :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 7:31 pm 
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edders23 wrote:
because the council views that as against consumer rights a passenger has the right to choose which taxi not be told which one to take :wink:

But we are not talking about consumer rights, the issue is taxi drivers acting illegally by refusing to take punters.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:31 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
edders23 wrote:
because the council views that as against consumer rights a passenger has the right to choose which taxi not be told which one to take :wink:

But we are not talking about consumer rights, the issue is taxi drivers acting illegally by refusing to take punters.



but nobody will put it in writing so the council won't do anything

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