The main Brighton Station taxi rank will be closed for weekday Albion matches.

Bosses at the station have introduced the change in a bid to tackle congestion caused as football fans wait to catch a train to Falmer station while commuters are also making their way home.

It will mean taxi drivers will have to use the back of the station to drop off and pick up customers between 4pm and 7.45pm on match days instead of using the rank at the front.

A new queuing system for Falmer trains was introduced for the first game of the season last weekend, forcing fans to queue in a zig-zag through crowd barriers.

The changes caused confusion on the first day, with some fans left scattered throughout the station and reports of trains being sent off half-full.

An email to taxi firms by the station's customer experience manager said: “As you can imagine these evening games hugely increase the passenger flow on our east coast services and so that we can operate a safe queuing system which will need to extend into the designated taxi pick up area we will be closing the rank at the front of the station for these games.”

Brighton and Hove Conservative spokesman on transport and Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Hove, Graham Cox, urged Southern to rethink. He said: “It will have a detrimental effect on the travelling public, with commuters having even more of a struggle to get home.

“Taxi drivers pay £470 a year to pick up at the station, and to treat them in this high-handed fashion is unfair.

“I am convinced there is plenty of room for a proper queue, without the need to close the rank.”

Ronald Wallace, 51, from Hove, has been a driver for 25 years.

He said: “It will be a reduced income for the people working the station. I don’t know why they bother closing it.

“The only hassle you get is from closing it. It seems to flow all right the rest of the time.”

A spokesman for Southern said the process would continue to be reviewed.