There was a West Hill Action Team meeting at West Hill Hall in late May. Attendees were anxious to hear news of the Council’s meeting with Govia about the location of the station taxi rank. Local councillor, Lizzie Dean, was present at the meeting and she reported that Terminus Road is definitely off the agenda and that Stroudley Road, at rear of the station, is being considered again. With the attention of GTR (or ‘Southern Fail’ as it has been dubbed by its customers) being taken up with its failing and cancelled train services, we don’t expect to hear about the rank location any time soon.
Meanwhile, the situation for residents in Surrey Street continues to be intolerable as taxis queue up there unofficially and block buses whose drivers then toot their horns at all hours of the day and night. The Council can only designate taxi ranks on public highways, precisely the highways where residents don’t want the ranks, while the area behind the station that would be best placed for the taxis is owned by Govia, over which the Council has no jurisdiction. It’s a dilemma which needs to be resolved by fine, open minds and mutual co-operation between the Council, the railway, the taxi and bus companies, keeping resident and public interests top of mind.
Present at the WHAT meeting was Tracy Phipps, the Waste Projects & Contracts Manager of Cityclean. She told us about the refurbishment programme for communal bins which will be rolled out over the next two years. Collection frequency, colour, design and sound issues of bins for glass are all under review. Leaving bulky waste by communal bins is an offence and the Council is determined to step up enforcement, as they are for dog fouling, the perennial past-time of irresponsible citizens.