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Experimental Harrods rank gets axed

Basil Street rank is in line for the chop following residents’ complaints about over-ranking

The experimental taxi feeder rank that was put in place in Basil Street is to be removed when the trial period comes to an end on February 8. Unfortunately, as we warned in the last edition of TAXI there have been numerous complains made by the residents of Hans Road in respect of the unauthorised ranking that has taken place there on a daily basis.

Things got so heated on one evening that an LTDA marshal had to step in and break up a row between two drivers.

Understandably, the residents got fed up with it and began filming cabs and sending the videos to Kensington and Chelsea Council, which in turn contacted TfL.

However, it was recognised that the yellow box has helped to improve the situation at the Basil Street junction with Hans Road and Walton Place and this part of the scheme will remain in place. It has to be said that the management of Harrods have been very supportive of the taxi trade over the traffic issues around the store and Kensington and Chelsea council, along with TfL and the LTDA, are still committed to finding a solution that works for all. Certainly, the trade has not been blamed for the overall chaos in and around the area, which the experimental scheme was designed to alleviate. But the one issue we were held account for was the practise of taxis queuing or ranking illegally in Hans Road. The process will now be for the council to decide whether to formally scrap the experimental scheme or to take the highly unlikely decision of reinstating it. 

Discussions are in fact already taking place between the interested parties with a view to finding a way forward with amendments to the trial scheme, which would change the current layout of the junction and possibly reintroduce a feeder rank. While there is sympathy for drivers trying to find ranking space around Harrods, particularly at this time of year, we can’t simply form our own ranks to the annoyance of residents and expect the council to ignore their complaints. The view of the council is that we have just moved the problem from one place to another and in the process stirred up a hornet’s nest of residents. A classic case of shooting ourselves in the foot. 

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