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Anger over taxi firm's office plan
7:30am Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
PLANS to turn a former dry cleaners into a taxi hire office have been criticised by other taxi drivers and businesses.
Excellent Connections has submitted a proposal to Chelmsford Council looking to change the use of 37 Duke Street from a dry cleaners to a taxi and private hire vehicle booking office.
The company, which runs Chelmsford Taxibus, wants the premises to become a place for passengers to book its services.
However, the plan has sparked anger among other taxi drivers, shop owners and residents near the site, with many posting objections to the authority.
Ian Vernon, chairman of the Chelmsford Taxi Drivers’ Association, said the spacial and safety issues the proposal would bring if accepted are too big to ignore.
He said: “That part of Duke Street is double yellow line and we understand that, to park, they might want to use Wells Street, which would take up a lot of room down there.
“It is also a very busy bit of road, with cars, taxis and buses, and I’m worried about members of the public who feel they may have to cross Duke Street. It would become very cluttered.
“Our view is we have an abundance of taxis at the west end of Chelmsford through the ranks and in general there is no call for an office.”
Shop staff based nearby have also expressed concerns over the plans.
Stuart Hammond, head of food at Co-op, said: “Our loading bay is in Wells Street and it’s difficult enough at the moment with the odd person parking their car and with the flats there.
“If we have private hire taxis come in, we’re probably going to have taxis and people waiting outside on the street where we have big articulated lorries coming to deliver stock.
“My concern is it could become dangerous and make it more difficult for our lorries to come in.”
Excellent Connections was unavailable to comment.
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