Cabbies’ fears over taxi rank problems

Cars clogging a rank on Friargate
Cars clogging a rank on Friargate
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Worried cabbies have voiced concern over issues with cars blocking their ranks.

Members of Preston’s Hackney Carriage Association (HCA) are threatening to stage a slow drive to voice their frustration at what they claim is a lack of action on cars parking in their designated taxi bays.

They told the Evening Post they believe the situation could spark violence and anti social behaviour among revellers who are spilling into Church Street and fighting to get into any cab they can find, in the absence of an orderly queue.

Asif Bukhari, vice chairman of Preston’s HCA, said: “We play a vital role in getting people home from the city safely. But we are seeing fighting and arguing as people coming out of the clubs try to scramble for their nearest taxi. There is no order to it because cars are blocking the rank.”

The 42-year-old, who is married with a child, added: “The ranks means we can have an orderly system of people in the queue getting into the next cab, but every weekend, cars that are not taxis are filling up the rank, which means we are forced to pull up in the road, or in bus stops and on double yellow lines.

President of the HCA, Mahammad Ikram, 34, said: “We have had a couple of meetings with the authorities but feel they don’t want to know.”

A Lancashire County Council spokesman for said: “Drivers are not allowed to park in the taxi ranks during the evenings and at peak times when taxis are operating.

“We will be working closely with the police and city council to look at how we can address this problem.”