Frustrated taxi drivers in Edinburgh were dismayed to find more vital taxi rank space taken away from them as photos show lorries, tractors and other heavy plant vehicles blocking the ranks.
Taxi drivers across the UK have been hit hard financially during the coronavirus pandemic. Cabbies in Edinburgh looking to return to work and kick start their industry have however had to do so with less vital rank space to find fares in the city centre.
In the latest picture it showed the normally busy Market Street rank, used to pick-up those travelling to Waverley train station, blocked with vehicles.
A spokesperson from Unite Edinburgh Cab Branch told Edinburgh City Council and councillors: “This might mean very little to you but for taxi drivers, this is completely unacceptable.
“Your lack of consultation with the taxi trade does you no favours. Please fix this mess.”
Unite also shared another image showing another central city centre rank blocked by a heavy goods vehicle. Unite said: “Would any of you care to comment on this. Totally unacceptable.
“Taxi drivers already having a brutal time just now and allowing ranks to disappear or vehicles park in them makes this even harder.”
This is not the first taxi rank issue raised by the Union in recent weeks either. Last month it was reported cabbies were astonished to find a once busy taxi rank replaced by ‘plant beds’.
The planters were introduced as part of Edinburgh City Council’s (ECC) ‘Spaces for People’ program. ECC were awarded over £5million from Sustrans to make temporary changes to its streets as lockdown eases. According to ECC the aim is to make it easier and safer for people to move around the streets and create extra space for walking, cycling and wheelchairs.
The measure also aims to support businesses re-opening by helping them adapt to operating on pavements and providing extra space to queue at a safe distance.
Irate cabbies however argued that the changes do nothing to help the taxi industry recover from what has been a devastating pandemic financially for the sector.