A TAXI driver has praised plans to create a weekend taxi rank for shoppers.
Imran Siddique called for South Kesteven District Council to make more space for taxis in Broad Street, Stamford in October after police clamped down on drivers parking outside the current rank.
Mr Siddique was one of a number of taxi drivers to put forward the idea of a temporary weekend rank in Star Lane in November and the council has now decided to look into the possibility.
Mr Siddique, who has been driving for Silver Cabs for more than a year, said: “I think it is a lovely proposal. It is the best place to pick people up on a Friday when there are a lot of vulnerable people out there.”
Taxis are normally allowed to wait for passengers between 10.30pm and 4am from Wednesdays to Saturdays. But on Fridays the street is closed off to make way for the market.
Taxis have been picking people up from the bus station in St Peter’s Hill in recent weeks but the area is not an official taxi rank.
Mr Siddique added: “When people finish shopping they have to travel all the way to the bus stop for a taxi and it is a long way.
“A lot of older people don’t use mobile phones so can’t call a taxi to pick them up. It can be very hard for them to carry all their bags that way.
“And there are only small posters saying that taxis will be at the bus station and people don’t know where to go.”
Mr Siddique thinks Star Lane is the best location for a rank and says it will help people who don’t live in Stamford but come in to the town to shop.
He said: “Star Lane is the best place for the rank. People don’t have to walk far from the market area.
“We hear a lot of people complaining when we pick them up that it is hard to get a taxi on a Friday. They are often coming in from the villages.
“It is going to be best for everybody if we can park on Star Lane. It will give us more business and mean we are not just waiting around at the bus stop.”
Mr Siddique said the council is keeping him and his fellow drivers updated on the plans. The council confirmed it was going to begin consultation on the proposal, but no date was set for discussions to start.