Commuters and drivers welcome taxi rankBy Laura Nightingale
August 03, 2012
AFTER months of campaigning, commuters have welcomed a new taxi rank at Blackwater railway station.
Blackwater and Hawley Town Council pressed Hart District Council to provide a taxi rank so people who arrived home by train could get a taxi home without having to book one in advance.
The line, busy with commuters to and from Reading and Guildford, also sees many holiday makers going to and from Gatwick Airport.
The town council believed even more people would use public transport if a taxi was always available because it saved the ‘hassle’ of organising a lift to and from the station.
Shirley Knight, who works at SafeNet at the Meadows Business Park next to the train station, said: “I did not know it was there. The taxi rank will be useful for our clients from Gatwick who use the train to visit us. It’s much quicker to get a train rather than drive and park at Gatwick and now this is even easier.”
Councillor Adrian Collett, town, district and county councillor said a number of people had spoken to him about the need of a taxi rank.
He said: “When I used to take the train home, I had to take a sheet of paper with taxi numbers with me so that I could call one when I got near to Blackwater. No one likes having to wait around with suitcases in the rain after they have come back from holiday, so if a taxi was readily available, it would persuade people to use the train back from the airport instead of the car.”
There are no taxi waiting areas on either side of the station.
David King, principal licensing officer at Hart District Council, said the licensing committee had campaigned for one since September last year.
Mr King said: “The new taxi rank is now well used by local taxis and is appreciated by them.
“We are now looking at the need for taxi ranks in Hartley Wintney and Odiham.”
The station is on the border of Surrey Heath and Bracknell Forest, but only registered Hart taxis can use the taxi rank.
A Hart taxi driver from Yateley Taxis said: “When I am quiet I will go and sit in the taxi rank. The station is particularly busy during rush hour. I have not got time to sit there all day though because we are busy.”