Online petition calls for King’s Lynn taxi rank U-turn

New Taxi Rank within Sainsbury's Town Centre Car Park King's Lynn'LtoR, Clare Ward (Silena Automotive), John Stevens (Taxi Driver), Simon Nash (Silena Automotive), Jason Smith (Taxi Driver) ANL-150731-151834009
New Taxi Rank within Sainsbury's Town Centre Car Park King's Lynn'LtoR, Clare Ward (Silena Automotive), John Stevens (Taxi Driver), Simon Nash (Silena Automotive), Jason Smith (Taxi Driver) ANL-150731-151834009
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A Lynn taxi driver has launched an online petition demanding that a town pick-up point is moved back to its original position.

More than 300 people have already backed Jason Smith’s campaign over the positioning of the taxi rank in the Vancouver Quarter.

And he has been encouraged by the initial response to the appeal to West Norfolk Council for a rethink.

He said: “I’m hoping they’re going to look at it again.”

A council spokesman said yesterday: “This is the subject of ongoing discussions and whilst we are aware of the petition we have no further comment at this stage.

The petition on the Change campaign website calls for the taxi rank to be “moved back outside onto the bus station for health and safety reasons.”

The facility was moved from its old site in Albion Street to the ground level of the Sainsbury’s car park earlier this year, as part of a £1.6 million redevelopment of the bus station.

At the time, West Norfolk Council chiefs maintained the switch would help to improve services to the public.

But Mr Smith claims trade has slumped since then and drivers have suffered a range of health problems, because of increased pollution levels.

Drivers have also claimed safety is being compromised by anti-social behaviour and near-misses between pedestrians and other vehicles.

But council officials have previously insisted that no safety concerns were raised during an assessment of the current site.

The petition also calls for an inquiry into what it claims is the “favourable” treatment given to bus operators over taxi firms and drivers.

It says: “The area covered by the licensing authority of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk has seen a very unhealthy trend over the past 18 years in King’s Lynn, Hunstanton and Downham Market, where the taxi ranks have constantly been moved to a worse position in favour of buses. Something doesn’t look right.”

The borough council has said it is trying to support what it recognises as an “important” form of public transport.

But Mr Smith said the authority’s record of moving taxi ranks for buses had to be fully exposed.

He added: “It just seems they don’t care about us.”

The petition can be found at www.change.org. There is also a campaign page on Facebook.