The Southport Area Committee meeting on Wednesday this week included a report on providing additional hackney carriage ranks in Southport town centre. The report generated a full and frank discussion from councillors of both parties and ended with votes against both the proposed rank on Hill Street and on West Street. The full report can be viewed here.
The discussion also promoted me to ask a number of questions regarding the current rank provision in Southport. Did you know that there are currently 25 Hackney Carriage Ranks including 2 feeder ranks across Southport (not including those ranks in Ainsdale) with spaces for 75 vehicles. A figure which got me thinking - whilst we all appreciate the need for hackney carriages to have ranks, could it be that there are some ranks that are under used or not used at all? If this is the case could these ranks be reduced in size or removed to allow the creation of additional pay and display bays?
As a result of my suggestion a review of rank usage will be undertaken which could have a positive impact on the car parking issues in the centre of Southport.
For example, there is a 5 space taxi rank on the service road outside the British Heart Foundation store (formerly Woolworths) however this is very rarely used and if it was reduced in size to 2 spaces then 3 extra pay & display bays could be created.
Watch this space !