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Taxi drivers outraged over lack of taxi ranks outside new bus station

30 Jun 2024 5 minute read
The Saunders Road taxi rank before the new bus station in Cardiff was built used to have space for 24 drivers, but now there are only 11 spaces. Photo via Google

Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter

Taxi drivers are outraged after being left with fewer taxi ranks outside a newly completed multi-million pound bus station in Cardiff.

The Saunders Road taxi rank, situated next to Cardiff Transport Interchange, used to have 24 ranks.

However, by the time the new facility was completed the number of ranks had reduced to 11. There are 103 permit holders who use the rank, according to trade union Unite.

Feeder rank

All the while, taxi drivers say they have been threatened with fines by Cardiff Council for queuing to enter the Saunders Road rank and they, along with Unite, claim the local authority failed to deliver on a promise to provide a feeder rank on St Mary Street.

Cardiff Council denies this claim, insisting that it has not reneged on any agreement to establish a feeder rank.

Hackney carriage drivers in the city protested over the issue on Thursday, June 27 on St Mary Street and a second protest is planned to take place from 10.30am at the same location on Monday, July 1.

The Saunders Road rank is not a council taxi rank and drivers pay Transport for Wales (TfW) a licence fee to use it and pick up passengers from there.

However, the local authority has been involved in discussions with taxi drivers and Unite over the potential of introducing a feeder rank somewhere nearby to ease the issue of queuing and congestion by Saunders Road.

Drivers hoped this would be in place by the time Cardiff Transport Interchange was completed. However, with the bus station ready to operate on Sunday, June 30, they are still waiting.

‘Disgraceful’

Unite regional officer Richard Jackson called the council’s behaviour “disgraceful”, adding: “It made promises to support the trade that were put in writing by the chief executive Paul Orders. Now those promises have been reneged on.

“There has been no consultation, no support for the trade and our members are enraged by the continued disdain they are being subjected to.

“Unite will be exerting maximum pressure on Cardiff city councillors until this completely unacceptable situation is made right.”

A TfW spokesperson said positive discussions have taken place between TfW, Unite and the taxi trade and Cardiff Council said it recently supported TfW to introduce eight extra spaces for affected taxis in the nearby Cardiff Central Station car park.

The local authority has also opened up a further four spaces for taxis on St Mary Street.

A TfW spokesperson said: “We’ve had positive discussions with Unite and the taxi trade and we’ve been able to increase the number of spaces for taxis available.

“We are continuing discussions over the coming days and we are confident we will have a resolution imminently.”

Licensing fee

A Cardiff Council spokesperson said: “Saunders Road taxi rank is not a council rank and only those taxi drivers that pay Transport for Wales (TfW) a licensing fee are allowed to use it and pick up fares from this location.

“Saunders Road taxi rank has had its capacity reduced by TfW in order to put security measures in place to protect the public.

“So, despite this really being an issue between TfW and those affected taxi drivers who have paid TfW for the right to operate from this rank, the council has been listening, engaging and working with the taxi trade and TfW to see how we can assist.

“The council has recently supported TfW to put an extra eight spaces for these affected taxis in the station car park on the south side of the train station, and the council has also opened up a further four spaces for taxis nearby on St Mary Street.

“These spaces more than make up for those lost on Saunders Road due to the security measures.

“The council has not reneged on any agreement to establish a feeder rank for Saunders Road.

“We considered all options in detail – but the reality is that a feeder rank cannot work in the area, as it will cause disruption and safety issues on the highway.

“We have been absolutely clear to the trade about the position which reflects the need to facilitate the safe opening and operation of the new bus interchange.

“The council will, however, continue to engage with the taxi trade to see how else we can assist them in areas which are under the council’s control.”

Cardiff’s eight-year wait for a bus station has finally ended with the completion of Cardiff Transport Interchange. The multi-million pound investment has 14 bus bays, office space and more than 300 apartments.

Coaches will not run from the site, but TfW is exploring options for the future delivery of coach travel which currently runs from Sophia Gardens.


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
14 days ago

Have a word with Lee, I bet there is a word for him in Somali…

Ap Kenneth
14 days ago

Strange how 8 years ago there was a bus station with enough room for all the buses, coaches and taxis and how Cardiff Council thought that it could improve public transport by transplanting offices on the site. Who gained?

Last edited 14 days ago by Ap Kenneth
Welsh Patriot
Welsh Patriot
14 days ago
Reply to  Ap Kenneth

The Labour run Council sold the land off to Right Acres, who in turn sold it to the BBC and Legal & General. The money gained just went into general Council coffers. What annoys me is we have all these press releases saying how wondering Cardiff is be having a great new bus station, when in fact less than half the local buses can use it and none of the long distance buses. They still have to use a cobbled together depot in Sophia Gardens a mile from the train station. There was a story of an elderly lady who’s… Read more »

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
14 days ago

I have no sympathy for the taxi drivers. They continually block the disabled bays at the back of Central station and become very hostile if asked to move. I have seen disabled people really struggling because of bay blocking by taxi drivers, they show complete disregard and disdain

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