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By Ian Dipple 13/07 Updated: 13/07 12:13
PLANS to use part of the taxi rank on Unicorn Hill during the day to create more short-term parking in the town centre will lead to 'chaos' it has been warned.
Councillors have agreed to consult on a proposal to use some of the space on the rank closest to the traffic lights to create four parking spaces during the day, which would revert back for use exclusively by taxis during evenings. The proposed spaces would only allow parking for 30 minutes with no return within four hours, the same as on nearby Bates Hill.
The suggestion is the result of a series of behind the scenes negotiations in response to a petition by traders on Unicorn Hill in May last year concerned their businesses were being hit by a lack of parking outside their shops and a similar plea from Redditch Town Centre Partnership in November.
But Nadeem Naz, acting chairman of Redditch Taxi Association, was angered they had not been asked about the plan before going out to public consultation and urged a compromise solution by removing the single yellow line on the opposite side of Unicorn Hill to create parking spaces.
"If there isn't one of these parking spaces available people are going to park on the rank because they think 'I'll only be five or ten minutes' but in that time ten taxis come and can't get a space. We already have an overspill problem as there aren't enough spaces. It's going to lead to chaos and angry confrontations which we don't want."
The move could cost between £2,000 and £2,500 to implement and would be introduced on a 12 month trial basis before being reviewed.
At a licensing committee meeting on Wednesday (July 11) councillors agreed to put the idea to a 12 week public consultation but concerns were raised by Coun Gay Hopkins about how the spaces would be monitored to ensure taxis did not park in them during the day.
The idea has the backing of county councillor for the area Brandon Clayton and traders have also welcomed the move.
Peter Mitchell, from The Cheque Exchange on Unicorn Hill and who organised the petition, said: "It is something we have been lobbying for for a long time and we are happy with it. Four isn't enough but it's as realistic as it is going to get so we are happy with four."
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