Zebra crossing plan at station rank out of order
Taxi drivers say they are being given the cold shoulder by council and transport bosses over proposed changes to their waiting area outside the international station.
Ashford Borough Council and Southeastern Trains have revealed plans to create a new zebra crossing in Station Approach to make it easier for people to get across the road.
It follows news that the construction of the Commercial Quarter at Dover Place is ahead of schedule, while the new college building is set to open in September, which could lead to hundreds of commuters and students needing to cross the road safely.
But the policy change means that the taxi rank will have to be moved into the Stour Centre car park around the corner.
Sue Whybrow, who represents her fellow Hackney cab drivers, raised her concerns at the council’s cabinet meeting last week.
She said: “It’s as if we are being given an ultimatum that we will be moved to the other side of the town, and there is no inclusion of the taxi trade in meetings. It’s an insult to the taxi trade.
“The crossing is ill-conceived and dangerous.
“There are cheaper and more viable alternatives and opportunities to make sure disabled passengers are safer, but these are ignored.”
Ms Whybrow said cars dropping off and picking up traffic outside the station already makes it difficult for disabled people to cross the road to reach cars and described the situation as illegal but said landowner Southeastern has refused to meet to discuss changes.
Meanwhile, drivers fear that if the taxi rank is moved to the Stour Centre car park, it will further add to problems of cars using the drop-off points, and also highlighted that the car park there is prone to flooding.
She added: “The issue is the fact that we are being chucked in a flooded field where there is no access to toilets, and they are no longer going to raise the level of the tarmac.
“It could mean that there are 18 days of the year where we have nowhere to go.”
Taxi driver and campaigner Sue Whybrow says the council and Southeastern have ignored cab drivers’ complaints
Taxi drivers are not happy with the proposed changes at Ashford International Station which would see their rank moved around the corner to the Stour Centre car park