THE owner of a private hire firm believes the policing of a controversial taxi rank will lead to someone getting injured or even killed.
Nigel Thomas, proprietor of King Kabs, says there is traffic chaos outside his busy Bridge Street office because nobody dares unload in the taxi rank opposite in case they receive a £70 fine from the council CCTV van.
This is despite the fact that the taxi rank is rarely used during the day.
Mr Thomas said: “It is absolute chaos here in the mornings since the CCTV van has been down here. It is like Liverpool docks with pallet trucks, tail lifts and trucks ranked up on this side of the road.
“Only the other day I was told about a woman in a wheelchair trying to navigate her way between two trucks, while one was reversing. If someone hadn’t pulled her out of harm’s way it could have been fatal. I have seen mothers pushing prams under tail lifts.”
He suggested: “The council are currently considering opening another rank further up Bridge Street. I support this, but they should close the existing rank on Bridge Street, converting it to a loading bay would make more sense.
“This is the going to be the cul de sac of death unless some thing is done by the council quickly.”
Cheshire West and Chester Council spokeswoman Rachel Ashley said deliveries shouldn’t be a problem because the pedestrianised section of Bridge Street is open to traffic before 10.30am and after 4.30pm. Businesses near the taxi rank also had rear loading facilities.
The authority has consulted with Chester Hackney Association over whether to make the rank evening use only – when the rank is well used especially at weekends – but the answer had come back that they would like to retain 24 hour use.