FRUSTRATED residents have spoken out about council plans for a new permanent taxi rank in Gainsborough.
The idea to make what was thought to be a temporary taxi rank on Gladstone Street, Gainsborough, a more long-term fixture has been met with much opposition.
Denis Russell and other parishioners have written letters to council officials to air their disgust at what it will mean for parking outside the United Reformed Church and access to the town centre.”
“I feel that it’s completely unnecessary,” said Denis. “It’s an obstacle to what we’re trying to carry out at the church and in the town.”
“When the parking restrictions were introduced last year, we accepted them as a temporary inconvenience while the work was to be done to Market Street. If the work ever starts and this taxi rank is made permanent then it will have no beneficial impact whatsoever.”
He continued: “I have never seen a single taxi use the space and the losers will be car owners, shoppers, visitors to the Old Hall, library-users and church-goers.”
“Shopkeepers are worried about a lack of footfall and Gainsborough town centre is becoming increasingly unwelcoming in comparison to places like Marshall’s Yard.”
Denis added: “It is something that has no benefit and should be dropped and I have never met anyone in Gainsborough who approves of it.”
Church warden Janet Colbert said: “The main objection is that on a Sunday there will be very little space for church-goers to park, and for when we hold blood donations, it will be absolutely impossible for donors. We’re asking for no taxi rank to be there at all and for it to be open for anyone to park in.”
Carlton Bradley from Cliff Bradley and Sons funeral directors added: “The police have told us we can use it for funerals and just to ask taxis to move if they are there.
“No taxis use it so I just don’t see the point in it being there.”
Gainsborough Mayor Harry Clarke is also against the idea.
“Today there are no taxis parked there, and there never are,” he said. “It’s one of the main places to park when visiting the Reformed Church and if there happens to be a funeral then you’ll have a job parking hearse.”
“I don’t think the people that are thinking of making it permanent have looked deep enough into the job. It would be better off down Church Street.”
Coun Clarke continued: “We also need more town centre parking for the disabled - that would be better, because then you’d get more a lot people coming into town for their shopping.”
“All of the disabled parking at Marshall’s Yard is always taken first thing in the morning and there just isn’t enough.”
Lincolnshire County Council’s Principal Highways Officer Paul Brookes said that the proposal was a necessary one.
“There are more taxis in Gainsborough than can be accommodated on Market Street, and it is hoped the provision of additional facilities will ease the burden placed on that one rank, as well as be of benefit once the proposed Market Street work starts next year,” he said.
“The taxi ranks would then be monitored and reviewed once this work is complete.”
“Lincolnshire Police, West Lindsey District Council and Gainsborough Town Council were consulted and no adverse comments were made.”
“The proposals were also advertised. No comments have been received to date from Gainsborough Town Council.”
He added: “A decision will be made at committee next week about whether two permanent taxi ranks on Gladstone Street and Parnell Street can replace the one on Market Street.”
The decision is due to be made on Monday 3rd October at the county council’s Planning and Regulation Committee.
Meanwhile, Coun Vaughn Hughes suggested motorists should be allowed to park their vehicles in the Market Place on non-market days in a bid to improve trade and footfall - a plan that will be discussed at the next Town Council meeting on Tuesday 4th October.
What are YOUR views regarding this and the proposition to allow cars to park in the Market Place on non-market days?
Get in touch and let us know.