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Row over site of new Fakenham taxi rank

PUBLISHED: 10:00 05 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:37 07 July 2010

Cabbies, licensing officials and councillors are at loggerheads over the best place to re-install a taxi rank in Fakenham.

The town lost its designated waiting area during road improvements for the Tesco store on Oak Street, which opened in 2006.

Cabbies, licensing officials and councillors are at loggerheads over the best place to re-install a taxi rank in Fakenham.

The town lost its designated waiting area during road improvements for the Tesco store on Oak Street, which opened in 2006.

John Collins, owner of Parkside Cars in Thursford, wants to install a taxi rank on the cobbles in the pedestrianised market place, but said he was told the plan would be opposed by police. He met highways engineers, police and licensing officials last month who agreed that the best solution would be to reinstate the original site, which is now a three-car parking bay.

But at a meeting on Tuesday, town councillors said the Oak Street option was dangerous and agreed to ask the district council why spaces on Bridge Street car park could not be used instead. Des Hewitt said: “If you park a taxi there it is different to parking a car there. There will be people walking around it and that will be dangerous.”

The meeting heard a letter from North Norfolk District Council licensing officer Anthony Gent which says: “A number of venues were looked at but the obvious choice would be the original taxi rank in Oak Street. Bridge Street car park is not a viable option as the landlord will not countenance such use.”

Taxi-firm operator Mr Collins said: “When people come out of the pubs in the evening, the police want them whipped away quickly but they don't want any cabs in the market place to do it.

“Bridge Street is not a convenient place and it is not the town centre. In the evening when people are coming here to socialise they will need know where to find a taxi without running around the back roads.”

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