TAXI drivers have been given permanent permission to drive along Queen Street at night to access a rank in the heart of the city centre.

Yvonne Constance, the county councillor in charge of transport, confirmed the temporary arrangement for taxi access to Carfax, through Bonn Square and Queen Street between 6.30pm and 8am seven days of the week, would now be made permanent.


Black cab drivers, members of City of Oxford Licensed Taxicab Association, welcomed the decision today but staged a demonstration outside County Hall because they said they should also be allowed to use the route on Sunday during the daytime.

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COLTA secretary Sajad Khan said: “We welcome confirmation that our use of Queen Street at night to get to the Carfax rank is now a permanent arrangement but we are disappointed we can’t access our rank during Sunday daytime via that route- it's very inconvenient for passengers.

"We were allowed to use Queen Street on Sunday during the daytime before the Westgate Centre opened. The council's argument against us using it on Sundays is because of the number of shoppers in the street going up.

“We want this right to be reinstated - at the moment hundreds of buses go along Queen Street every day and they are much larger vehicles than taxis."


An officer’s report to the meeting recommended that COLTA’s request to use Queen Street during the daytime on Sunday should not be granted. It added: “Officers do not recommend that this is taken forward on the basis that this was first introduced before the redeveloped Westgate; in fact, it was first agreed in 1984 when bus services on Sundays from the city centre were much less frequent and when pedestrian flow in the street was generally much lower.”

In October 2017 taxis were told they could use part of Cornmarket as a rank instead of the Carfax rank but there were road safety concerns.


In December of that year access to the Carfax rank through Bonn Square and Queen Street was restored on an experimental basis but only between 6.30pm and 8am. A new taxi rank in New Road has been approved by the county council but plans for a new rank close to the Turl Street junction with High Street have been rejected. Plans to allow taxi drivers to use the Castle Street/Norfolk Street access route could begin next month.