Safety fears over relocation of Harpenden rail station’s taxi ranks

Taxis in the new rank outside Harpenden station

Taxis in the new rank outside Harpenden station - Credit: Archant

The reconfiguration of the taxi rank at Harpenden Station has come under fire because it could put passengers at risk.

The concern was raised in a letter to David Statham, managing director of train operators, First Capital Connect, by town resident Mrs Shelagh Collingwood.

She believes that making passengers cross the road to get their taxi instead of picking them up right outside the station building is an “accident waiting to happen”.

Until the rank was reconfigured, taxis would line up on the pavement by the station exit with additional taxis queueing on the other side of Station Approach to move up when their turn came.

In February the new scheme was introduced which means passengers have to cross the road to get to a taxi. Mrs Collingwood pointed out that meant they had to dodge taxis and other cars driving up the station in the dark.

She warned that the situation was “extremely dangerous” with headlights shining and particularly on rainy evenings with the reflection of lights on the road.

She has called on Mr Statham to give urgent consideration to restoring the original system so passengers did not have to cross the road to get to their taxi in perilous conditions.

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Larry Heyman, FCC’s integration and partnership manager, explained that under the previous system, taxis had to drive into Station Approach and go on to the wrong side of the road to circle around to park in front of the station, blocking the entrance and exit to the main car park. The footway level was also higher than the road level meaning that people could not get into the taxis.

He went on: “When the taxi rank was moved to the opposite side, there were bollards which were left in position. They will now be replaced by a fence to stop people having to cross the road except where they can do it safely.”

Mr Heyman said other improvements still had to be instigated, including resurfacing footways and more lighting, and taxi marshalls would be at the station.