Taxi drivers have expressed concern over changes to Brighton Station’s taxi rank which came into force earlier in the month.
Previously situated at the front of Brighton Station, the rank was moved to Stroudley Road – behind the station – on November 11.
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) said the move will improve traffic flow and congestion, especially around Surrey Street, enable quicker access to the A270 and A23 and provide more space for taxis.
The move is intended to clear space for a new-look entrance and GTR says this will allow the taxi rank to remain open on event days such as Brighton Pride and Albion match days.
However, taxi drivers say they have experienced declining customer numbers, congestion, and issues with closure of the rank during the operation of rail replacement buses.
Rahim Fazel, who has been a taxi driver for 17 years, said: “To be honest, it’s costing people more money. I don’t mind, but the customer is not happy. During rail replacement, children and old ladies have to walk in the rain with luggage and have to walk further.”
Andrew Peters, secretary of GMB Brighton and Hove Taxi section, said that GMB members ‘were shocked to be told that the rank would be completely shut when the rail replacement buses are used’ saying this could affect ‘lone women and wheelchair users’.
Mr Peters said he has started a petition to campaign against the changes.
Karl McCormack, lead facilities and development manager at GTR, said: “The rank is moving because 16.5 million use the station now each year and it simply isn’t fit for purpose for the number of vehicles.
“The relocation of the rank and the ongoing redevelopment of the northern entrance is a partnership initiative between GTR and Brighton & Hove City Council.”