The council’s proposal for an 18-month Terminus Road taxi rank trial has been put on hold, following a packed public meeting in December. Members of the West Hill Action Team organised the meeting, held at the West Hill Hall on 8 December, where Cllr Gill Mitchell, chair of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, was invited, along with senior council officers, to put their case forward and answer questions. See full minutes of the meeting at westhillwhistler.wordpress.com
Residents at the meeting made it plain that a taxi rank serving Brighton Station was not wanted on Terminus Road. Many described increased traffic and congestion on their streets as motorists used West Hill as a cut-through, and those on Terminus Road described constant noise and disturbance from the taxis themselves, with slamming doors, engines running, loud radios, and cabbies calling out to one another just yards from their homes.
The overall feeling expressed at the meeting was that the station should do more to resolve the problem. People felt it was ridiculous that some 300 permits have been issued for just 17 taxi spaces within the station itself. A number of suggestions were put forward, such as issuing fewer permits, or issuing permits for set hours in the day, such as mornings or evenings. It was pointed out that the station owned significant pieces of land that could be used, such as the rear of the station and Mangalore Way.
Cllr Mitchell explained that the council was trying to arrange a high-level meeting with Govia Thameslink, who now run the franchise at Brighton Station, and would raise these points with them.
Stephen Anderson from Buckingham Road, who helped organise and publicise the meeting said, “This was a great opportunity for residents, who represent the rich and diverse community in which we live, to express their opinions about this ill-conceived proposal.”
Ward councillor, Lizzie Deane, who chaired the meeting, said “West Hill residents made it loud and clear that a taxi rank on Terminus Road is simply not an option for them, and that Brighton Station must take their share of responsibility. The sheer number of people who came to the meeting demonstrates the strength of feeling on this issue. I am grateful to all those who helped organise, and who came the meeting, and to Cllr Mitchell and council officers who also attended. We await the outcome of the meeting with Govia, and will arrange a follow-up public meeting to discuss the results of that meeting when it has taken place.”
Photos of traffic jams on Buckingham Road referred to in the comment by Clare Baldwin below