THE creation of a new taxi rank close to the entrance to the Westgate Centre will be much better used than an existing one alongside the £440m complex.

City of Oxford Licensed Taxicab Association has proposed the new rank in New Road, opposite the entrance to County Hall.

Its members, who drive black cabs, say it will be much better used than the existing rank created in Old Greyfriars Street.

Although the rank in Old Greyfriars Street is close to one of the entrances to the Westgate Centre, it is hardly ever used because shoppers prefer to use the Bonn Square and Castle Street entrances.


Sajad Khan, secretary for COLTA, said: “We don’t think the rank in Old Greyfriars Street was in the right place - shoppers never go into the Westgate that way or leave that way.

“A new rank in New Road will be much closer to the main entrance in Bonn Square so it will be much more useful.

“We are now waiting for the city council to consult on the proposal for the new rank.

“I don’t think we are asking for the Old Greyfriars Street rank to be taken away - but drivers waiting there are never going to get any fares.”

The move to create the new rank in New Road, which COLTA hopes will accommodate four vehicles, has been backed by Colin Ridler.

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In February last year Mr Ridler, 66, who works in publishing, spoke out because although the Westgate Centre opened in October 2017, the opening of the taxi rank was delayed by building work which meant he had to use his mobility scooter to get the shopping centre from the rank at Gloucester Green.


The Old Greyfriars Street ranked eventually opened in April but taxi drivers are still not using the Castle Street/Norfolk Street access route - where Mr Ridler said a rank should have been situated.

Welcoming the proposal for a rank in New Road, he said: “It is on the side of the Westgate Centre used by shoppers, unlike the rank on Old Greyfriars Street, where cab drivers are reluctant to wait since they rarely if ever get custom from shoppers there.

“I am advised that the county council has approved the installation of a 24-hour taxi rank on New Road, near the Bonn Square entrance to the Westgate Centre, and that the proposal now only needs the agreement of Oxford City Council. As a frequent user of the Westgate Centre, which I access in a powerchair that has limited power, such a cab rank would be invaluable, and would ease any concerns I might have about getting stranded at the centre, particularly after dark or in wet weather.”

A report to the cabinet member for environment decisions meeting said yesterday the New Road rank was approved in November, with the city council soon to carry out the required formal consultation to introduce it.