Monday, 22 October 2012

Taxis May Get Go-Ahead To Bypass Diversion During Roadworks

Taxis could be given the go-ahead to travel directly to the station along Cambridge’s Hills Road avoiding a diversion set up while roadworks are taking place.

The move follows complaints from Cambridge Liberal Democrats after taxi passengers were facing increased fares from drivers forced to use the lengthy diversion.

Cambridge City Councillors, Jean Swanson and Colin Rosenstiel raised the issue with Cambridgeshire County Council’s highways department asking for permission for taxi drivers to use the private bus way.

But this was refused on the grounds that it would have involved driving over private land. Lib Dems do not accept this excuse, however, but claim it will not be overcome in time to make a difference during the present roadworks.

After further discussions officers promised to allow access only for taxis and buses to the railway station via Hills Road and Station Road. But Hills Road will remain closed to other inbound traffic which will continue to use the diversion.

The change was due to be implemented before the weekend but now notices are expected to go up in the city today (Monday, October 22) announcing the new regulation.

Cllr Swanson, who represents Queen Edith’s ward, said: “Taxi customers were facing fare increases of up to five pounds because drivers weren’t able to take a direct route to the station.

“This wasn’t acceptable and we were determined to find another way. I am pleased to say that common sense has prevailed and the county council has created access only for buses and taxis.”

Cllr Rosenstiel, who represents Market ward, added: “Traffic has been very heavy along the diversion route and the taxis themselves were adding to the congestion and charging customers high fares.

"Fortunately, the county council has finally listened to our concerns and we have found a solution which will allow direct access to the station for taxis until the road works are completed.

“It is very disappointing, however, that this was not implemented before the weekend as promised."