AN end is in sight for traffic chaos around Haymarket after plans were unveiled for a new taxi rank.
Cabbies will be given specific space in Haymarket Terrace, following months of misery for residents.
Complaints have ranged from taxis blocking traffic to cutting off pedestrian access and parking on double yellow lines since the rank outside the train station was abolished in December.
Taxi drivers have been forced to make-do with a short rank outside the Tune Hotel across the road from the rail hub and an “overflow” area around the corner.
The new blueprint, set to be rubber-stamped by council chiefs within weeks, has been backed by local residents and taxi firms alike.
Under the plans, a rank would stretch the length of the block between Rosebery Crescent and Coates Gardens.
The original rank was abolished following the completion of the tram line due to a lack of space, and was instead turned into a drop-off zone for disabled passengers.
Edinburgh Taxi Association secretary Raymond Davidson said cabbies would be happy with the new scheme.
He said: “The way it is now isn’t right. There were too many complaints. The new proposal will be better for us, as it will increase the number of spaces.”
It’s understood that a consultation on establishing the new rank found that residents and businesses were largely supportive of the plan, clearing the way for approval of the scheme.
Adam Clark, co-owner of two sports equipment stores on the corner of Rosebery Crescent and Haymarket Terrace, said the new rank would ease tensions between locals and cabbies.
He said; “We’ve been unhappy with the current situation. There are serious issues with the bus dropping off just before the junction, and tourists are getting off the airport bus and struggling to get across the road. I’ve seen umpteen near misses. Taxis are parking around the corner which is really unsafe, and they’re sitting on a double yellow line.
“It’s very difficult to cross the road, and I’ve had an altercation with a taxi driver because they’ve left three inches between two taxis for people to try to cross the road.
“I was standing with my two nephews, who are four and eight, and it was so unsafe it was ridiculous. There was nowhere to cross the road.”
However, Erica Stahl, owner of nearby gift shop Pippin, said the new rank would be detrimental to her business.
She said: “I know taxis will sit there running their engines most of the time, and they will block the view of my shop. A lot of people stand at the bus stop across the road and look at the window displays and are drawn in by it.
“I’m also concerned the deliveries won’t get through, because the taxis will park across the delivery bays.”
City transport leader Councillor Lesley Hinds said: “There’s no doubt that the current taxi situation around Haymarket Station is far from ideal and we’ve just completed a consultation with taxi companies and other transport bodies to look at how we can make it better.”