Community leaders in Kingswood are hoping that changes to a taxi rank will bring an end to taxis undertaking risky 3-point turns on a busy main road.
For a number of years South Gloucestershire councillors representing the central area of Kingswood have received complaints from residents about taxis having to perform potentially dangerous manoeuvres on Regent Street as they seek to park on a rank outside Chasers night club next to the Kings Chase shopping centre. The narrowness of Regent Street means that taxis currently cannot swing in one move into the rank from their waiting area on Moravian Road without mounting the pavement.
Now, following a meeting with taxi drivers, council highways engineers, councillors and the local police, the taxi rank and pavement opposite are being redesigned so that taxis coming from Moravian Road should be able to drive into the rank in one move.
In a joint statement the six councillors representing central Kingswood, Pat Apps, Bill Bowrey, Terry Walker (Labour, Kings Chase) and Gareth Manson, Andy Perkins and Pat Rooney (Labour, Woodstock) said:
“The local road network was designed well over a hundred years ago so trying to find a solution to a modern day problem has proved to be really difficult. We have tried to find a solution which safeguards pedestrians and road users but at the same time allows taxi drivers to continue performing the valuable role they fulfil.”
Once the new rank has been created, there will be a voluntary ban on taxi drivers performing u-turns for passengers wishing to travel in the direction of Bristol from 9am to 6pm. Instead, taxis will use the one-way system via Cecil Road and Blackhorse Road. Evidence from the local police indicated, however, that in the evenings it was desirable for taxis to be able to take passengers away from the area as quickly as possible so u-turning from 6pm to 9am will be permitted.
11th October 2012