CONCERNS have been raised over the taxi ranks at Haywards Heath Railway Station if proposed development plans go ahead.
The Middy has been contacted by readers worried about the number of taxis that will be able to use the rank once the new station and Waitrose have been built.
In a letter in last week’s Mid Sussex Times, John Churcher, from Burgess Hill, highlighted his fears that commuters would suffer if the plans went ahead.
He said: “At present, an average 30 licensed taxis operate.
“The present proposal will reduce the number of vehicles to 17.”
Brian Adams, who has been a taxi driver in Haywards Heath for 20 years, is also concerned about the plans.
He said that the plan would ‘restrict the rank to only 16 or 17 taxis out of a total 110’.
A spokesperson for Solum Regeneration said: “Southern currently permit 105 taxis to operate from Haywards Heath station. We see no reason why this would change as a result of the development.”
They added: “Solum Regeneration met with representatives of the Haywards Heath taxi drivers prior to submitting our planning application.
“We both agree that the existing taxi arrangements are disjointed, with taxis queuing on the car park access road.
“We believe that the proposals we have put forward will improve the position for taxi drivers and their passengers – by increasing the number of taxi spaces on the forecourt, improving the free flow of traffic on the forecourt and by enhancing public safety.
“Taxi drivers are also likely to benefit from more business by being positioned outside the new Waitrose foodstore.
“We recognise that the taxi drivers want more space, but we need to balance their needs with other station users, including those who walk, cycle, come by bus or are dropped off by families and friends.
“After extensive consultation with many station users and interest groups, we believe we have got that balance right.”
The plans were submitted to Mid Sussex District Council earlier this month, and include improvements to Haywards Heath Railway Station as well as a new Waitrose store.
The project is being promoted by Solum Regeneration in conjunction with Southern Railways, who manage the station, plus Waitrose.
To view the plans on the district council’s website, visit http://pa.midsussex.gov.uk/online-applications/ and enter 12/02935/FUL or, alternatively, you can visit www.haywardsheathforward.co.uk