Plan to relocate Edinburgh Waverley taxi rank on hold after overwhelming criticism

Proposals to move a taxi rank at Waverley Station have been put on hold after a public consultation overwhelmingly criticised the plans.

Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 6:00 am
Plans to relocate the taxi rank were met with significant opposition. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Edinburgh City Council held a consultation on creating a new ten-bay taxi stance on East Market Street between the Jeffrey Street junction and The Arches – further away from the current temporary provision on Market Street.

But 140 responses to the consultation, most of which were negative, have led to councillors putting the plans on hold.

A motion by Conservative Cllr Cameron Rose, agreed by the council’s regulatory committee means alternatives and more information must be brought forward by officials.

The council’s regulatory services manager, Andrew Mitchell told councillors “it would be fair to say that the majority of those express concerns about the proposals”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Transport official Chris McGarvey said safety concerns with passengers having to cross a busy road could be mitigated by potentially “installing a controlled crossing” but admitted that “discussions are at quite an early stage”.

He added: “There’s a large number of construction works currently ongoing on Market Street – the area is heavily congested with works. There’s also a high volume of drop-offs, pick-ups, delivery vehicles which are generally causing a lot of congestion for all users and there’s double-parking.

“I’m very aware that the consultation brought back a lot of negative comments. We have looked at other positions, however, it’s just not feasible and the risk still lies there.”

Following the consultation response, Cllr Rose, who previously labelled the plans “absolutely crazy” put forward an amendment pointing out no disabilities assessment has been carried out and “no exploration of other options” have been considered, such as making better use of the area under Waverley Bridge or the south side of Market Street.

He said: “What we’re being asked to do here is to de-prioritise pedestrians.

“We’re asking those who want a taxi to travel more than twice as far as they do at the moment. That’s not good in principle. Many of those will be at the end of a long journey with suitcases and some will be disabled. What we have here effectively is a change without any written justification for it.

“We need some sort of exploration of the other options to be considered. It may well be that we end up moving it along the street, but we need more data.”