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Taxi operators against move

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Taxi operators against move

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A?Transport Authority proposal to relocate taxi drivers from Lower and upper Broad Street has not gone down well.
Bridgetown Taxi Association president Philip Garner said yesterday that about three weeks ago he received the recommendation of relocating the taxi drivers to the BTI?Car Park along the Wharf Road. He said the Transport Authority explained in its letter that this was as a result of congestion created by taxi operators in Broad Street.
However, Garner said there was a contradiction in the proposal, since it also stated that taxi drivers who operated at Upper Broad Street would take up the vacated spots at Lower Broad Street.
“If the taxis are causing a congestion, why would you move one set to replace them with another?” he queried. He said he had spoken yesterday with Minister of Transport and Works John Boyce who had promised to meet with the taxi drivers.
Garner denied that the congestion was being created by the Bridgetown taxi operators.
“Whenever there is a ship in the Bridgetown Port, taxi drivers come from all over the place and take up the spots at Broad Street and those taxi operators who operate there, have to circle and circle and circle in order to get a park.”
He said the suggestion to relocate them would not be feasible, especially given that they also worked at night. He pointed out that there were two ways to solve the problem.
Options available He said the Government could either assign the taxi operators in Broad Street colour stickers or paint their taxi numbers on the spots there.
“Then we could have a committee which would ensure that only those taxis assigned to park on Broad Street do so,” he submitted.Garner said the relocation proposal however contained some positive items, such as the creation of recreation facilities and bathrooms. He further admitted that the proposal had created a rift in the Bridgetown Taxi Association, with accusations of his colluding with the Government.
“It has become politicized. I can’t understand this because when this proposal was made under the other administration, I?brought David Thompson down there and he said it should never happen. This has all been blown out of proportion,” he stated.
A taxi driver said a meeting was held last week by president of the Heroes Square Association, Mark Layne, who assured operators that the organization would be trying to get a meeting with minister Boyce to discuss the issue. The operator said that it was agreed that the association would resist all efforts to remove them.
He said taxi drivers felt the congestion was being caused by jaywalkers who continued to cross the busy road other than at the pedestrian crossings, causing a continual back up of traffic.
Yesterday, Boyce, in an interview with Starcom Network, said the move to relocate taxi operators would not be made without his approval, or full consultation with the taxi associations.