18-month Terminus Road taxi trial set to begin

Posted On 17 Nov 2015 at 8:46 am

The Brighton Station taxi rank is set to move to Terminus Road for an 18-month trial in a bid to stop queuing taxis disrupting buses, pedestrians and clogging up nearby streets.

Brighton Station exterior - Picture Wiki Commons
Terminus Road was used as a temporary taxi rank while the station forecourt was revamped earlier this year, and taxi bosses and Brighton and Hove Buses say they would like the move to become permanent.

But any scheme would have to address concerns over the impact on surrounding streets, and so the trial would incorporate road changes such as reversing the one-way flow on Clifton Street and closing part of Buckingham Place to general traffic.

The plans will go before next Tuesday’s environment, transport and sustainability committee. Its chair Gill Mitchell said: “The area to the front of the station has been much improved but the problems of bus and taxi congestion still remain and at busy times can be dangerous for pedestrians.

“We are proposing a serious trial with measures put in place from the start to protect residential streets in the West Hill area that experienced extra traffic during the previous, informal arrangements. Residents will be notified prior to the start of the trial and consulted on how it is working.

“If the trial goes ahead we will continue to monitor the area closely and the issue will come back to the committee again for a final decision on the location of the rank.”

The report says the current situation is not ideal not just because of the disruption to buses and pedestrians, but because it spoils the improvements to the station forecourt, and the station has now increased the times the rank is closed.

During these times, and peak times, unofficial queues build in Surrey Street, disrupting residents with fumes and tooting horns.

During the temporary Terminus Road rank, the noise in Surrey Street decreased, traffic monitoring showed reduced traffic in the area and reduced strain on the Clock Tower junction, and bus reliability improved.

In March, when the rank was still in Terminus Road, Brighton Buses managing director Martin Harris blogged: “This 21st century return to the old ways has worked far better than we had expected.

“The crucial thing is that it’s removed through traffic from across the front of the station, making things much safer and less congested for bus users, cyclists and pedestrians. As far as I know, the taxis liked it too, as it avoided the ‘taxi gridlock’ that happens around the station at peak times.

“No through traffic through Queens Road also has benefits down at the Clock Tower for pedestrians, cyclists, buses and taxis, improving the capacity of that difficult crucial junction for all of us.

“So if it works for the city’s taxis around the station, chances are it’s going to work for all of us. And I’m going to be backing the idea that a rank up Terminus Road becomes a permanent fixture. Will you join me?”

If the rank is moved, then Southern could use the space currently occupied by the rank for “commercial opportunities” although it’s not specified whether these would be stalls or new permanent shops.

The surrounding road changes include:

  • The one-way flow on Clifton Street is reversed to prevent its use as a shortcut from Terminus Road to Upper Gloucester Road.
  • Buckingham Place is closed to all non-bus and taxi traffic between the two sections of Bath Street. This will have the effect of diverting through traffic at Seven Dials on to Montpelier Road, Dyke Road or towards Preston Circus rather than through West Hill. Access to the area will still be possible via Bath Street or Dyke Road.
  • Minor works to the boarding area at the southern end of Terminus Road to ensure that passengers can be safely boarded into multiple taxis simultaneously.


  1. Paul Laycock Reply

    This is a great idea. Sat at the station bus stop last week, it was utter bedlam, with taxis blocking normal traffic while queuing to get in the station.
    While the station was undergoing recent “improvement” works, the taxis sat on a temporary rank on Terminus Road, and as a result, traffic around the top of Queen’s Road was much improved.

    Terminus Road is the historic location for a rank at the station, so by all means revert back to it – clearly they had the right idea back then!

  2. Craig lander Reply

    Firstly lef me me reveal that the answer to the wholse situation is that simple, that the council needn’t worry about wasting too much more money on a lunatic ‘green’ initiated issue! Brighton station taxi rank has worked now for several decades with no need for any traffic surveys, enviromental concerns etc… This only ever became an issue when the green administration began its station ‘improvement’ works. Primarily and most problemetic, Surrrey Street!!! Why on earth would you make that road a single lane with an extended pavement that no one uses!?!? Those poor residents on Surrey street that now, after a big weekly shop cannot unload outside of their own homes? Poor bus drivers who can barely squeeze a double decker around a tight corner with a big black bin and poorly designed sharp corner that a 3 wheeler wouod have to think twice about. Isnt it funny that Surrey street was the first stage of the plan, and that has been the root cause of all of this! You want to stop pollution? Ok. Lets send masses of traffic through tight residential roads, or send them down London road, preston circus. These roads are clearly waiting for more traffic… Ridiculous! Put Surrey street back to how it was! 2 lanes, no tight corners, clear thoroughfare for buses and normal traffic if there is an overranking situation in the station rank. I’d just like to add, the council made us put stickers on all our cabs saying ‘not moving, switch off your engine’ to save pollution and fumes. Makes sense. The station rank as it stands has 3 lanes. Plenty of chances to turn the engine off the save the fumes. A single file rank edging along at snails pace means no switching engines off. Fumes, noise, running engine. Seems a good idea. Please please please leave the rank where it is and listen to the people that work there day and night. Lets have some better communication between all the parties concerned and not just a bloke with a clipboard conducting a survey and few little stern glances at eachother whilst were all trying to get on with out working day. Whoever reads this, I am willing to sit around a table with any authoirty that is making decisions on this and put forward some common sense from someone in the thick of it.
    Craig – Brighton station taxi driver.

    • Niall Reply

      I am a resident and I couldn’t agree more. The changes to the traffic flow have created more problems than they have solved. It would a political minefield to revisit and rectify the current situation. We can only hope the current administration will be up for that challenge and look to fix the issue rather than move it.

  3. WJG Reply

    If you are driving into Brighton from Hove via 7 Dials and want to access the car park on Trafalgar Street, (which I do regularly) this system is a disaster.

    “If the system is better for taxis then it is better for all of us” what a joke – not if you are a motorist or a taxi passenger.

    I regularly get a taxi from Brighton station – no problem with existing system. The queue is UNDER COVER.

    Freeing up this space is just an excuse to make money from more shops while motorists get another blow in their attempt to get into Brighton by car. How much has been spent on the area outside the station?

    Once again motorists forgotten about.

  4. Think harder! Reply

    The whole arrival experience to Brighton via the station for 100,000s of visitors (which is frankly well under oear) and a reduction in the ridiculous traffic congestion for residents could be easily improved by not forcing taxis in or out at the front of the station, including this terminus street idea. There is a perfectly good location at the REAR of the station for taxis which would significantly reduce the numbers of vehicles at the front altogether and give local traffic, pedestrians and cyclists and busses some breathing space. Continuing to blindly force a quart into a pint pot at the front of the station won’t solve it. Clear signage within the station for pedestrians to locate a taxi rank at the rear is simple enough. Perhaps team taxi and team council should seriously consider this.

    • Craig Reply

      Please read my statement again…. Its simple

    • Stephen Anderson Reply

      There is clearly a conflict here which was not resolved by the Station Gateway project, the brief was incorrect so the solution will never work. The taxi rank should have been placed at the rear of the station which was the majority decision by station users.
      The council then backtracked on this with a variety of excuses rather than solid reasons, they were able to build a Cycle Hub at the rear so why not a taxi rank?
      The rationale that Terminus Road was the original site for the taxis is meaningless, this was a time with far less traffic and buses which were also smaller in size. It is merely a sticking plaster solution which won’t solve anything it is simply moving the problem elsewhere.
      The council need to grasp the nettle and drive through a feasible solution here acceptable to all users of the station and the area in general, we live in hope.

      • Niall Reply

        The Taxi rank is on private station land and so the council have no authority to force them to move it to the rear of the station. Nor do they have authority to force an alternative way of managing the station taxi pick-up licenses issued by the station management.

        I agree that the statement about Terminus Road being the original Horse & Trap site is meaningless – none of the realities of today (population/ that cars exist/ level of traffic/ that you had the choice of a carriage or walk in the period of history referred to/ there was no bus system) are taken into account. I was really disappointed that a high ranking transport manager had publicly stated this as a good idea.

        I also agree with both you and Craig that something needs to be done about unsuccessful changes to roadways and layout. The Gateway brief seemed weighted to the aesthetic rather than the practical.

  5. Move the taxi rank to the REAR, simple. Reply

    It’s simple really, relocate the taxis to the REAR of the station. There is space there, there are no residents there, it is the perfect spot with the roundabout. With the correct signage, customers requiring taxis would still go there. This would hugely improve the congestion, the fumes, and the beeping etc, and leave the front for local traffic, people, visitors and busses. The local residential streets will also be improved. It’s simple.

  6. Wendy Daykin Reply

    Move the taxi rank to the rear of the station and pick up to the front. West Hill residents do not want this it will cause pollution and terrible traffic congestion.

  7. robert hall Reply

    I totally agree that the rear of the station is where it should go as NO car drivers use it instead the use our local tiny roads as parking spots to wait for friends or drop off. Make the taxi rank the drop off area and the rear the Taxi rank. Don’t need to pay me £60k to work that out.

  8. Lucy Reply

    I too agree that the rear of the station, which does not have on-street parking or narrow streets, is the most sensible and logical place to site the taxis. It works at Victoria and St Pancras stations; surely it could work at Brighton? The current proposals for an eighteen month ‘trial’ are absolutely shocking and would turn the Westhill area (allegedly a Conservation Area) into a giant taxi rank and roundabout. It also devalues the status of taxis; should they not be givens a specific taxi rank and somewhere dry and sheltered for passengers to wait.
    Please Brighton & Hove council show some common sense.

  9. Peta Taylor Reply

    This news makes me very miserable. The taxis queued outside my house on Buckingham Place during the road-works until late at night, every night. Of course I was OK with it while I realised that it was temporary. Please (x 100000) don’t make it permanent. In addition to their lights through my bedroom windows & curtains keeping me awake, their engine-noise and pollution as they crawl past, I’m unable to have a taxi collect from my door – for myself or visitors when needed – as they insist we walk to the station. Just keep the rank there. the back seems a great suggestion so the front can be used for pick-up (it is anyway…not many private cars bother going to the rear). I’ve emailed twice about this and just read again that an 18 month trial is going ahead without consultation. Can I ask someone from the council to visit my house to witness the impact if it goes ahead.I’d like to move one day and – decreasing the value doesn’t begin to cover it: I doubt anyone would ever buy with a permanent taxi queue outside. Thank you for your consideration.

  10. Niall Reply

    From the perspective of a trail – what would we learn in 18 Mths that we couldn’t learn from a single month or indeed from a survey of the people that lived through the absolute chaos the last time. Taxi drivers don’t think it a good idea, taxi users had a terrible experience, residents had months of sleepless nights and access hill, drivers trying to get access had a total nightmare. What is to be learned that we don’t already know.
    The suggestion of an 18mth trial seems more to do with forcing through an unpopular change.

  11. Pingback: Minutes of the WHAT meeting re Taxi Rank 8 December | The Whistler

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