March 14, 2019
A new council project underway in Glasgow city centre is negatively impacting taxi drivers’ livelihood.
The £115 million pound ‘Avenue’ project aims to increase space for pedestrians on one of the busiest streets in Glasgow.
Concerns Over Rank Use
Taxi drivers have criticised the new project due to loss of earnings, especially at night with taxi ranks now being used by private vehicles.
The road revamp has raised concerns and drivers say the narrow, busy road is “causing pandemonium” that could lead to accidents.
Councillor Christy Mearns, recognises the impact it’s having on taxi drivers and ensures she’ll investigate ways to improve the situation.
The project aims to support active travel by expanding pavement space and add more greenery to the area. Works to the busy street began in January 2018 and are set to be completed this year according to council officials.
Chairman of Unite Glasgow CAB Section, Calum Anderson, said: “We have concerns on how this will affect our night time economy. They’re extending the pavements and planting trees. This leaves just enough room for taxis to get past and is bottlenecking traffic.
“Taxis are having difficulty reaching the rank as the vast majority of it is filled with private cars. Unless the area has proper enforcement officers on duty, it’s not going to work.”
Allan Young, councillor of the Glasgow Green Group emphasises the long-term benefits of the project.
He said: “We need to try and reduce the number of cars in the city centre and lower air pollution. We need to encourage more people to take up active travel. Many don’t cycle because of the narrow routes so we’re widening cycle paths and pavements across the city.
“I empathise with the taxi drivers who cannot get to a rank. If we have more ambitious targets to reduce the number of cars it will free up more spaces for taxis.”
Councillor Christy Mearns echoed these thoughts. She said: “It’s understandable there may be some knock-on effect initially with all the changes which have come in.
“I do sympathise with the taxi drivers, but we need to establish what we do from here.”