Taxi drivers complain over Swindon railway station rank confusion

Taxi driver Dave Mackie outside Swindon Railway Station

Taxi driver Dave Mackie outside Swindon Railway Station

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @Michael_Benke

TAXI drivers have called for action to be taken at Swindon railway station to ensure passengers are safer when queuing for cabs.

In 2012, a £1.8m refurbishment of the station forecourt was carried out to modernise the station and offer a more welcoming entrance to the town.

However, cabbies have said that the updated look means that while it may appear nicer, it is unclear for passengers where they need to go to grab a taxi, increasing the risk of an accident and arguments during busy periods.

Among them is Dave Mackie, 62, who has been driving taxis for more than 30 years. He says there needs to be clearer directions from the station to exactly where passengers must go, because as it stands there is only the one sign.

He said: “When it’s quiet there is not too much of an issue. The problem is on a busy period, like a Friday or Saturday night when everyone comes piling out of the station, usually after they have had a few to drink.

“They just crowd the rank and jump in front of each either, sometimes without even knowing they are doing it. No one knows which taxi is first or who is first in the queue so that is how fights begin. Everyone then jumps into the first taxi they see, never mind where it is in the queue.

“There is also no shelter for the elderly and disabled who have quite a distance to travel if the weather is bad. I have seen people struggling in really heavy rain and not know where they are going. The whole project was not thought through properly.”

Many other taxi drivers have echoed this sentiment. One, who did not want to be named said: “It all looks very nice but it isn’t practical. We used to be able to have 50 cars waiting outside, close to the station. Now we can only fit 12 and that is even less if there are coaches arriving.

“The problems it causes are just not worth a few extra benches. It’s a total waste of money.”

The drivers think there are a number of low cost solutions which could be implemented to help solve the problem.

Dave said: “What you could do is put in barriers like you see at Alton Towers and theme parks. That way it would be very clear who is meant to be first in line and it would be very organised.

“At Bristol Temple Meads the taxi rank is covered and they have put footprint markers on the floor. If we could have something like that in Swindon it would make things better.

“It surely wouldn’t cost that much and make things so much easier for everyone.”

Comments (8)

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8:21am Mon 21 Apr 14

M4 Bypass says...

It's a large patio where those using it are confused, often wet & cold waiting for onward travel..

Which employed council official signed this patio plan off, and made recommendations to the Councillors (lay personnel) who appear to have foolishly voted the plans through? Wasting our taxes.

The whole area alongside the station should have been designed as a transport interchange for train travellers, bus users, taxi, buses, coaches,& cyclists who may be visitors or residents.
The current car parks, the old laundry and the west side of the station should have been used to provide these facities. The new multi-story car at WhaleBridge should have been built on the west side of the station incorporating covered convenient parking for travellers and visitors. and a covered link back across the railway From this car park, buses using designated bus routes could take people, to the town centre, outlet village, hospital, Old Town etc.
.
It's a large patio where those using it are confused, often wet & cold waiting for onward travel.. Which employed council official signed this patio plan off, and made recommendations to the Councillors (lay personnel) who appear to have foolishly voted the plans through? Wasting our taxes. The whole area alongside the station should have been designed as a transport interchange for train travellers, bus users, taxi, buses, coaches,& cyclists who may be visitors or residents. The current car parks, the old laundry and the west side of the station should have been used to provide these facities. The new multi-story car at WhaleBridge should have been built on the west side of the station incorporating covered convenient parking for travellers and visitors. and a covered link back across the railway From this car park, buses using designated bus routes could take people, to the town centre, outlet village, hospital, Old Town etc. . M4 Bypass
  • Score: 11

8:33am Mon 21 Apr 14

Always Grumpy says...

M4 Bypass wrote:
It's a large patio where those using it are confused, often wet & cold waiting for onward travel..

Which employed council official signed this patio plan off, and made recommendations to the Councillors (lay personnel) who appear to have foolishly voted the plans through? Wasting our taxes.

The whole area alongside the station should have been designed as a transport interchange for train travellers, bus users, taxi, buses, coaches,& cyclists who may be visitors or residents.
The current car parks, the old laundry and the west side of the station should have been used to provide these facities. The new multi-story car at WhaleBridge should have been built on the west side of the station incorporating covered convenient parking for travellers and visitors. and a covered link back across the railway From this car park, buses using designated bus routes could take people, to the town centre, outlet village, hospital, Old Town etc.
.
Come off it.
You're asking Swindon Council to do 'joined up thinking'?
They don't do that.
[quote][p][bold]M4 Bypass[/bold] wrote: It's a large patio where those using it are confused, often wet & cold waiting for onward travel.. Which employed council official signed this patio plan off, and made recommendations to the Councillors (lay personnel) who appear to have foolishly voted the plans through? Wasting our taxes. The whole area alongside the station should have been designed as a transport interchange for train travellers, bus users, taxi, buses, coaches,& cyclists who may be visitors or residents. The current car parks, the old laundry and the west side of the station should have been used to provide these facities. The new multi-story car at WhaleBridge should have been built on the west side of the station incorporating covered convenient parking for travellers and visitors. and a covered link back across the railway From this car park, buses using designated bus routes could take people, to the town centre, outlet village, hospital, Old Town etc. .[/p][/quote]Come off it. You're asking Swindon Council to do 'joined up thinking'? They don't do that. Always Grumpy
  • Score: 8

8:53am Mon 21 Apr 14

gambon says...

what a surprise a taxi driver moaning what a surprise get a life
what a surprise a taxi driver moaning what a surprise get a life gambon
  • Score: -1

9:00am Mon 21 Apr 14

faatmaan says...

slow news day, lazy reporting,
slow news day, lazy reporting, faatmaan
  • Score: -5

11:22am Mon 21 Apr 14

female resident says...

All it needs is a clear place for punters to queue, at a location which doesn't create a free for all for taxi drivers. It's not rocket science but is total chaos at the moment. I dread coming home on a train after dark now, the town centre is a no-go area to walk, there are no buses and the taxi rank is chaos. All that after having to get a mortgage to catch a train anyway. Very sad.
All it needs is a clear place for punters to queue, at a location which doesn't create a free for all for taxi drivers. It's not rocket science but is total chaos at the moment. I dread coming home on a train after dark now, the town centre is a no-go area to walk, there are no buses and the taxi rank is chaos. All that after having to get a mortgage to catch a train anyway. Very sad. female resident
  • Score: 10

3:02pm Mon 21 Apr 14

trustnopolitician says...

Swindon has never had a clearly thought out approach to "moderniseation" Whoever was responsible for this chaos shouln't be allowed anywhere any future projects.
Railway Station
Whale Bridge
Wi Fi

Performance is not good enough.
Swindon has never had a clearly thought out approach to "moderniseation" Whoever was responsible for this chaos shouln't be allowed anywhere any future projects. Railway Station Whale Bridge Wi Fi Performance is not good enough. trustnopolitician
  • Score: 5

6:32pm Mon 21 Apr 14

mrwoo says...

They should build the taxi drivers a little hut, where they could have a cup of tea, bacon butty or some bum sex with one another and generally be more chilled!
They should build the taxi drivers a little hut, where they could have a cup of tea, bacon butty or some bum sex with one another and generally be more chilled! mrwoo
  • Score: 2

8:54pm Mon 21 Apr 14

Phantom Poster says...

mrwoo wrote:
They should build the taxi drivers a little hut, where they could have a cup of tea, bacon butty or some bum sex with one another and generally be more chilled!
Yawn!
[quote][p][bold]mrwoo[/bold] wrote: They should build the taxi drivers a little hut, where they could have a cup of tea, bacon butty or some bum sex with one another and generally be more chilled![/p][/quote]Yawn! Phantom Poster
  • Score: -6

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