ROUND-THE-CLOCK opening could return to a taxi rank in the heart of York after its operation was scaled back.
A review of York’s taxi arrangements by a City of York Council task group has recommended bringing the rank at Duncombe Place back into 24-hour use for a year-long trial following a campaign by drivers.
The rank is currently only allowed to open between 7.30am and 10pm. The curfew was introduced amid fears about anti-ocial behaviour in the area and noise from passenger queues disturbing guests at the nearby Dean Court Hotel.
The council’s taxi licensing policy group now says anti-crime measures, including better lighting, cutting back bushes and shrubbery in the neighbouring gardens and an alcohol ban, had dealt with many of those issues. Its members also said Duncombe Place was a “popular” rank for late-night revellers and theatre-goers, and taxis already regularly picked up customers from the street after being flagged down.
The group’s recommendations also include encouraging the inclusion of taxi ranks within major developments such as York’s community stadium, and producing a map of the current ranks’ opening times to boost awareness.
They will now go before the council’s community safety overview and scrutiny committee for further consideration.
Following the restriction on Duncombe Place’s opening times, 180 drivers signed a petition calling for it to be allowed to operate overnight, saying it was the safest rank in the city.
A report by officers which went before a meeting of the task group yesterday said: “The task group acknowledged the council’s efforts to improve the area adjacent to the rank location and the improvements to street lighting around the memorial gardens.
“They also noted there was little evidence to substantiate that the use of the rank gives rise to noise disturbance. They recognise that a hackney carriage can pick up passengers in any street and can be flagged down when not already booked, irrespective of the operation of the rank.”