An Edinburgh taxi driver begs the council to ‘see the meaning’ of the location of a taxi stand on Market Street.
Davy Macpherson, who has been a black cab driver for more than 30 years, says he contacted Edinburgh Live on a quest to help its industry which has already suffered during the 18 months of the pandemic.
He says the East Market Street taxi rank has been relocated to the end of Jeffrey Street, making it difficult to reach for people with limited mobility and the elderly leaving Edinburgh Waverley.
He adds that the taxi drivers had pointed out the “pitfalls and problems” that would arise if the council decided to move the ranks.
Of this, he said: “Last week a young woman with cerebral palsy tried to signal me outside Brewhemia where we were allowed to stop. But I had to tell her that she would have to walk up East Market Street so that she could get a cab because we can’t pick up anyone within 50 feet of a row – not to mention I was either waiting for a job or would have taken her. up there myself.
“The row is barely visible and not well signposted, so it’s amazing how vulnerable people are supposed to access a trusted black cab.
“Sometimes you see private recruits flouting the rules without any repercussions and we ask the authorities to be consistent in applying the rules.
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“Originally the rank was moved from inside the station to E Market Street, but now we are in no man’s land. I understand the ranking was originally moved after a handful of drivers overindulged the area and double-parked, but that doesn’t mean our vulnerable customers must suffer.
“The board consulted us and we told them it wouldn’t work but they never listened. The past 18 months have been tough for black cab drivers, many have left the profession, so all we ask is that common sense be used.
Davy added that black taxi drivers are often professional ambassadors for the capital and the majority are not in the profession for the money but rather for the people and the city.
He adds that taxi drivers suffered from similar issues in Haymarket where their rank was placed in a hard-to-reach location.
On the issue, a council spokesperson said: “We have consulted with the taxi industry for some time on these arrangements and believe this is the most appropriate solution. This should be in place for the foreseeable future, but we are happy to discuss with the trade any suggested changes they wish to come up with. “