December 24, 2018
Plans are underway in Andover for a pop-up taxi office to help those who may be vulnerable over Christmas.
Andover based taxi firm, Angel Cars, have teamed up with local radio station, Love Andover, to help protect the public during the busy festive season.
Pop-Up Taxi Office for Safe Transport
St Mary’s ward councillor, Iris Anderson, and the public have raised concerns following the forced closure of A&B Cars office, located closely to Andover’s busy high street. There are worries that members of the public aren’t getting authorised transport home at night due to less taxis operating within the town centre.
Councillor Anderson and locals have approached Love Andover for help to publicise the need for safe transport home especially with Christmas office parties in full swing.
She said: “It’s really worrying to think of young people being at risk at night.
“There’s been lots of talk about what to do now there’s no secure taxi office in town. I’m so pleased that Angel Cars have taken the initiative to find a solution.
“I hope that the Street Pastors or Andover Methodist Church could find a way to help.”
In order to help raise awareness of transport safety and find a solution to the concerns raised, Love Andover is in discussion with two well-known local businesses about using one of their empty store units for the private hire car service.
Safety Awareness Highlighted Over Festive Season
The unit will offer security and a safe environment for those who may be vulnerable or at risk. Ideally located, the space will be well-advertised and signposted and should work well with organisations, such as the Andover Street Pastors.
The public will be able to use the ‘safe space’ to wait until licensed transport arrives.
Co-owner of Angel Cars, Dan Murphy, said: “We responded quickly when it was confirmed that the Alpha Cars arrangement with A&B Cars resulted in the closure of their operators’ licence.
“We and many others are concerned about having vulnerable people, particularly those who may suffer anxiety on the streets of Andover late at night.
“There’s been an occasion recently where a driver had been operating without a valid licence. We want to ensure people are safe on their journey home when using private hire cars.”
David Harber from Andover Radio commented: “Shortly after Iris mentioned her concerns to me, we had an influx of people contacting us to see if there was anything we could do.
“People lose their inhibitions when they’ve been drinking, and this can cause an increasing amount of problems during ‘party season’.
Safe Place for the Vulnerable
“We’re all thinking the same thing and I really think this is a great solution. There’s a lot to do, including finalising premises, insurances and publicity but I really hope that community minded people, businesses and organisations around the town can pull together and prevent the obvious potential problems.”