Row over council’s taxi rank move continues

Taxi drivers are unhappy about the new taxi rank within Sainsbury's town centre car park. Pictured, from left, are, Clare Ward, John Stevens, Simon Nash and Jason Smith.

Taxi drivers are unhappy about the new taxi rank within Sainsbury's town centre car park. Pictured, from left, are, Clare Ward, John Stevens, Simon Nash and Jason Smith.

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The owner of a taxi testing station has added his support to the backlash against the relocation of Lynn’s town centre taxi rank.

Simon Nash, who owns Setch-based Silena Automotive – one of five West Norfolk Council approved taxi MOT testing stations – is backing taxi drivers’ calls for action to address “appalling conditions” since the rank was moved.

Taxi driver Jason Smith said he and other drivers have suffered from health problems, including respiratory issues, headaches and nausea, since the authority moved the pick-up point from the open-air bus station to the covered car park on the ground level of Sainsbury’s in the town’s Vancouver Quarter.

He also said trade had slumped due to customers being “intimidated” looking for a taxi at the new site.

Mr Nash said drivers who use his firm are furious at the move, with many claiming the council “makes rules up as it goes along”.

He said: “The council said the drivers were consulted but that doesn’t mean the majority in favour of a particular point mean that it will get adopted. Yes, they have been consulted, whether or not the council takes any notice of that is another matter.”

Meanwhile, Mr Smith has disputed claims that the council has provided reassurances about health and safety.

He said an air quality monitoring tube was installed after the move, when it should have been before, and no statistics have been provided.

“We have been given no reassurances whatsoever,” he said.