Plan to move Brighton Station taxi rank to Terminus Road put on hold

Posted On 24 Nov 2015 at 5:07 pm

A plan to move the Brighton Station taxi rank back to Terminus Road has been put on hold.

A Brighton and Hove City Council committee had been due to discuss the plan today (Tuesday 24 November).

The Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee was to be asked to approve an 18-month trial.

Brighton Station cabs queue in Terminus Road

Taxis queue in Terminus Road earlier this year

The aim was to stop queuing taxis from disrupting buses, pedestrians and clogging up nearby streets.

Instead council officials will carry out further consultation. The decision to defer the move was reported to council members by Councillor Gill Mitchell, who chairs the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee.

A report to the committee, which is meeting at Portslade Town Hall, said: “There are a number of ongoing issues associated with taxis using the station taxi rank. These are

  • Taxis queuing to enter the rank that cause congestion in the vicinity and disrupt bus services
  • Unofficial taxi queues in Surrey Street create congestion and the resultant noise from vehicle horns and shouting is disruptive to local residents
  • The station operators have increased the frequency that they close the taxi rank, forcing the council to provide temporary provision in the surrounding area
  • The position of the taxi rank dominates a section at the front of the station and is detrimental to the positive welcome fostered by the recent gateway improvement works

“An increase in enforcement has resulted in a reduction in these issues but is costly and not able to remove the problems entirely. Recent changes in national guidance mean that enforcement by CCTV is no longer an option.”

Terminus Road was used as a temporary taxi rank while the station forecourt was revamped earlier this year.

Taxi bosses and Brighton and Hove Buses said they would like the move to become permanent.

But any scheme would have to address concerns over the impact on surrounding streets.

The trial had been expected to incorporate road changes such as reversing the one-way flow in Clifton Street and closing part of Buckingham Place to general traffic.

Martin Harris

Martin Harris

The report said that the current situation was not ideal partly because of the disruption to buses and pedestrians.

It was also said to spoil the improvements to the station forecourt – and the station has now increased the times when the rank is closed.

During these times – and at peak times – unofficial queues of taxis have built up in Surrey Street, disrupting residents with fumes and tooting horns.

When the rank was in Terminus Road, 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 and Hove 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 Queen’s 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, Southern could use the space currently occupied by the rank for “commercial opportunities”. While there are stalls in front of part of the station already, it hasn’t been specified whether any new commercial opportunities would be stalls or new permanent shops.

  1. Craig Reply

    Excellent news!! Now please lets have some proper consultation. Namely with the people that work there on every day and night! #commonsensejustice

  2. Rostrum Reply

    What about the people who live in terminus road!
    Why not use the back of the station.

  3. deborah Reply

    Totally unfair! What about the residents of Terminus Road and the impact and extra pollution from a constant queue of Taxis running Diesel engines outside their homes for 15 hours a day? We already have such low air quality to deal with from the Station. This would be a disaster. Move the taxis elsewhere please.

  4. Craig Reply

    Well no, lets just leave things in this town alone that have worked for several decades for bloody once!!

  5. Rizeag edward Hanna Reply

    Terminus road is a good idia if we have like 2 or 3 cars space at the front of the station at the left side of the bus stop sa a part of terminus road rank

  6. Dede Reply

    What kind of improvement would this be?
    Firstly, what about the residents on Terminus road?
    Secondly, already near impossible to cross the city from west/east and another road closed for cars/commuters. This road is narrow so all the traffic from Seven dials will crawl through somewhere else.
    Of course the traffic decreased in the area if it was closed for all other MOVING traffic.
    Taxis do not care, they just park anywhere, stop anywhere, block anywhere.
    Why is there so many taxis around the station anyway? Limit number of taxis – let people call for one or use buses- this could keep the area less busy and traffic moving.

  7. Dave Reply

    Whilst the Taxi rank was on Terminus Road Upper Gloucester Road became impassable.

    Terminus Road is much more residential than the station and we had to endure the constant noise of taxi drivers chatting late into the night and it became dangerous leaving the side roads because chancers driving down the wrong side of the road to get past the queue.

    Get rid of that bus stop outside the railway.

  8. Ruth Reply

    I live on one of the little side roads off Terminus Road. When the temporary rank was on Terminus Road it made the lives of my neighbours and I a misery.

    It also added to congestion because the queue went up beyond Howard Place during certain times of day and taxi drivers would drive up Terminus Road to the end of the queue, then do a 3 point turn to join the end – stopping passage for buses and any other north-bound traffic. They also used all our side streets for turning when the queue was shorter.

    Haven’t they only just spent millions improving the front of the station for the taxis? What a waste of money!

    This was always on the agenda for Brighton and Hove taxis, but they behaved so badly when they were allowed to have a rank there the council should look for a different solution.

  9. Ruth Reply

    This whole situation could be resolved by placing a co-ordinator at the station to radio out when more taxis were needed. They have a dedicated space, but there are far too many taxis trying to use it. B&H taxis should put more effort into co-ordinating their cabs, rather than encouraging a free for all.

  10. Bob Reply

    Squeezing Surrey St down to a single lane and blocking the end of it with a bus stop has predictably caused significant congestion, particularly now it is frequently being blocked by taxis.
    Using Terminus Place is not a satisfactory proposal, not least because of the direct effect on that street, but also the wider impact of diverting traffic onto other unsuitable routes.
    The prospect of a package of restrictions to frustrate any road access through the area is a reminder that there are still too many greens entrenched in the council. Remember that the Frederick Place fiasco was more about trying to block free road access to the area than a serious solution to managing the taxi provision for the station.
    The point blank refusal to consider a second taxi rank at the rear of the station just stinks of deliberately trying to make the situation at the front untenable, to aid forcing though unreasonable restrictions in the area.

    A novel solution would be to build a small bridge over from the car park area to the original cab road between platforms 7 & 8 and to use this large space for exactly what it was designed for.

  11. Niall Reply

    I live on Terminus Rd, it was terrible when the temporary rank was there, not least the noise the drivers generated until 2am every night. All of the usual moans and groans aside, it simply made the pedestrian crossing to the station completely dangerous. It is an unacceptable solution.
    I also have no understanding why bus stop E next to Railway Bell pub is there? It causes as much chaos as the unusual changes to Surrey St have. The redesign of the area is a complete failure and it seems that rather than address the design flaws and admit the issues, the council would rather move the problem and create new ones.

  12. Peta Taylor Reply

    The full-room at the West Hill Community Hall meeting about this in December indicated not just the strong feelings but the even stronger reasons and logic not to pursue this plan. Too many – and too obvious – to outline here but what Surrey street is experiencing would simply move to another residential area. The rail company (Govia) must trial it at the back – they benefit from having a rank at the station, both practically AND financially. Taxis pay over £700 annually to Govia for the privilege of station pick-ups & there are hundreds who pay it…what are those hundreds of thousands for? To offload taxi issues off Govia land and on to local streets? The onus is on Govia, the taxi companies, the bus company and the council to find a solution that doesn’t alienate local residents in Surrey St, Terminus Rd, Gloucester Rd, Clifton St, Buckingham Place, Bath St, Buckingham Rd or West Hill. The argument that horse-drawn cabs stood in Terminus Rd a hundred years ago is absurd. Engines, lights, drinking hours and sheer numbers today make it unacceptable to have cabs queuing outside people’s houses instead of a purpose-built and well-managed, enforced back/forecourt on station late at night. The argument that taxi-fares will increase because of the distance to the back of the station is also specious…most of the town lives in that direction and time taken to get through North Laine or city centre also clocks up.

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