City centre taxi rank will be removed after complaints
A taxi rank will be removed from Sheffield city centre after complaints from businesses and bus companies.
The lay-by on High Street, at the bottom of Fargate, should only be used by taxis from 7pm to 5am but nearby businesses have complained about drivers parking the full length of it during the day.
Businesses say delivery vehicles can't pull into the lay-by and there is a security risk because cash collection vans are unable to use it and have to park further away.
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive supports the rank being removed because up to five taxis are parking there at the same time, protruding into the road and stopping buses travelling along High Street, resulting in congestion and delays to services.
John Priestley, senior transport planner at Sheffield Council, says in a report: 'When council officers have spoken to taxi drivers ranking outside these hours, the drivers claimed to have simply misunderstood the signs and operating times.
'They have been observed to drive away, but then return a short time later. Clearly, they are knowingly and wilfully ignoring the restrictions on operating times.
'We have, on two occasions, written to the taxi operators advising them that, unless their members stopped abusing the rank, it would be removed.
'These warnings have proved ineffective as the abuse has continued. Officers consider that the only way to prevent the misuse of this rank is to remove it completely. Taxi drivers will be unable to use the excuse that they did not understand the restrictions.'
Council officers say they expect taxis will continue to wait in the loading bay, unofficially, at night because they did so before the official rank was introduced.
No taxi drivers or companies have objected.