Thursday, August 15, 2013

Police step in as parking battle erupts in Cambridge

A parking battle has erupted among taxi and lorry drivers in Cambridge, prompting police to step in.

Taxi drivers have clashed with delivery workers over the city centre rank in Sidney Street, triggering late-night ‘blockades’.

Delivery lorries are parking up on the rank, leaving taxis without a place to stop to pick up fares.

Paul Bradley, of Cambridge Hackney Carriage Association, told the News: “We are staging a mini-protest but we are not inconveniencing the public regarding our night time rank on Sidney Street. We have put up for weeks with work vehicles for shops illegally parking and blocking the taxi rank – 40ft lorries have started blocking it up for a few weeks every night.

“This same problem happened last year causing a massive problem with several altercations between drivers and workers and is set to happen again, and as such taxis are staying on ranks spaced out so they can’t do this as the work vehicles are able to stop elsewhere.”

But the taxi drivers claim they are being “ignored” by police.

Mr Bradley said: “It is a criminal offence to park or stop on a rank except for taxis but we are ignored by police and traffic wardens and anyone else we speak to about this.

“Private cars enter, speed and park illegally in this pedestrian zone unchecked. The police are very quick to ask us to move or we get a ticket when we can’t get on a rank.”

The Cambridge Hackney Carriage Association is a new group formed “out of frustration of not being listened to by anyone,” Mr Bradley said.

But Cambridge’s city centre policing team have now taken action.

A police spokesman said: “We are aware of the issue and spoke to drivers at the location on Monday night. We also issued Fixed Penalty Notices for parking offences committed by those unlawfully using a taxi rank.

“We have passed details of the incident onto the city centre management team so they can assist in the resolution of the problem.”

A county council spokesman said: “We enforce parking in the city centre but have received no complaints about lorries parking in the taxi rank areas of Sidney Street in the evening. We will now give it extra attention.”

Fifty taxi drivers were fined amid a zero tolerance crackdown on ‘over-ranking’ in St Andrew’s Street amid concerns about cars queuing beyond the end of the taxi rank.

The fines were issued in the campaign early this year.

1 comment:

Veritas said...

If this was London, the cab drivers would have been told to go elsewhere and the rank suspended.

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