Agenda item

Station South East Taxi Ranking

A report seeking approval for officers to undertake a statutory consultation on a proposal that maintains taxi ranking at the Reading Railway Station ‘horseshoe’ rank, while considering the needs of the Station Hill development construction and the competition for kerb-space and access within Reading Town Centre.


The Executive Director for Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report that sought approval for officers to carry out statutory consultation on a proposal that would maintain taxi-ranking at the Reading Station ‘horseshoe’ rank, while considering the needs of the Station Hill development construction and the competition for kerb space and access with the town centre.  A plan showing the proposal for statutory consultation was attached to the report at Appendix 1.

The report stated that is had been confirmed that Garrard Street, the taxi feeder route for the horseshoe rank, would remain as adopted public Highway and could remain open following the completion of the Station Hill redevelopment.  The report therefore proposed that in seeking viable taxi feeder options for the rank, that Garrard Street should remain a linking route with the existing enforced ‘gate’ restriction at the Station Road link to remain in place.  It was also proposed that the existing small taxi feeder bay at the eastern end of Garrard Street should be retained as this would enable a small number of taxis to wait and feed the horseshoe rank with line-of-sight, as they currently did.  Due to the long term development works it was proposed that parking restrictions were placed along the remainder of Garrard Street to prevent parking.  This would inevitably become a request of Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders but, the ‘permanent’ implementation would provide a clear and consistent approach.  These parking restrictions would also replace the Pay and Display bat to the east of Merchants Place, which had been proposed initially as the temporary taxi feeder rank facility.  This had generated local noise complaints and was not considered a suitable location for such a facility.  Although this would reduce the feeder ranking capacity on Garrard Street, it would be the case through temporary restrictions that would need to be in place throughout the development works.  Once the development was complete, consideration could be made for on-street restrictions that would accommodate the needs of the area.  This would create a very short route for taxis to travel, compared to other options, and the indicator device for the taxi feed from the south-west interchange would be placed on the short taxi ranking bay that would be retained at the eastern end of Garrard Street.

At the invitation of the Chair, Asif Rashid, Chairman of Reading Taxi Association, was present at the meeting and addressed the Sub-Committee in support of the proposals and suggested that a camera should be placed on Garrard Street so that drivers could see when to move onto the rank, he also asked for a camera to be positioned on the rank for enforcement.

Resolved –

(1)     That the report be noted;

(2)     That the Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services be authorised to undertake statutory consultations for the restrictions proposed in Appendix 1, in accordance with the Local Authorities Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996;

(3)     That, subject to no objections received, the Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services be authorised to make the Traffic Regulation Order and scheme delivery planning will commence;

(4)     That any objection(s) received following the statutory advertisement be reported to a future meeting of the Sub-Committee;

(5)     That no public inquiry be held into the proposals;

(6)     That officers investigate the suggestion that cameras be positioned on Garrard Street and the horseshoe rank.

(Councillor Ayub declared an interest in the above item on the grounds that he owned a hackney carriage.  He left the room and took no part in the discussion or decision making)

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