Taxi companies operating in Newport are up in arms as they are being forced to give up their ranks in South Street for a period of 6 months, but claim they were only given 1 weeks’ notice.
Works to widen St George’s Way over the next 24 weeks means a one-way system will be in operation around Newport. All traffic from the south will divert via Church Litten and South Street to join Coppins Bridge. As a result, some roads have been closed to enable the free flow of traffic.
According to Amar Exclusive taxis, Island Roads and the Isle of Wight Council have failed to consult with the trade about the changes having only been informed on 2nd March, for works beginning this week.
The 6-month changes will see temporary bus stops created in the taxi rank outside Sports Direct. Furthermore, the taxi rank outside Morrisons is being utilised as part of the one-way system and will be unable to taxi drivers.
A new, temporary taxi rank is to be established in St James Street, between New Look and Ming Garden. This will result in the loss of a number of parking spaces. However, taxi drivers say this is simply not viable with safety concerns raised due to the narrow nature of St James’ Street and the fact the rank is to be situated on a corner. They also say that the narrow pavement, which has items of street furniture, will make it hard to safely side load passengers.
At present, Southern Vectis buses are operating routes 5, 7, 12 and 38 from Church Litten to enable social distancing in the main bus station. But a spokesperson for Amar Taxis has said:
“As COVID restrictions are being relaxed why cant Southern Vectis now operate from inside Newport Bus Station that was purpose built for them?”
Island Roads has been approached for a statement.