Congestion concerns delay Brighton Station revamp

The Argus: Protesters campaigning against plans to move Brighton Station taxi rank to Frederick Place Protesters campaigning against plans to move Brighton Station taxi rank to Frederick Place

Plans to revamp the area around one of the country’s busiest stations have been delayed again – due to fears about congestion and pollution.

The Brighton Station Gateway scheme, which is designed to improve access and make the area more welcoming to hundreds of thousands of people, was first discussed in 2010.

But after a petition of more than 700 people raising concerns about a new taxi rank, Brighton and Hove City Council is to give itself another two months before making a final decision.

Ian Davey, chairman of the council’s transport committee, said: “There is general agreement that the situation at the station needs to be improved, but be assured we are all very aware of the importance of getting this scheme right for local residents as well as the city as a whole.”

A decision to revamp the area north and south of the station, which is the eighth-busiest station in the country outside London, was approved in December 2010.

Bus fears

Initial fears were expressed that it would reduce the number of buses that could use the area.

After months of consultation and £90,000 being allocated to the project this year, the local authority agreed a raft of proposals in October designed to make it more inviting to those arriving in the city.

This included creating direct access for pedestrians from the south entrance of the station to Queens Road.

As a result, taxis were to be moved with a pick-up place in Junction Road and waiting area under the Trafalgar Street bridge and in Frederick Place.

However, locals have objected claiming it would lead to congestion, air pollution and excess noise.

Conservation

Philip Lobarto, of Over Street, Brighton, who organised the petition, said: “Frederick Place is part of North Laine which is a conservation area.

“There will be 12 to 15 taxis waiting there under these plans.

“I just do not think it will work. The noise from the [Ibis hotel] building site at the moment is almost continuous. What will it be like with taxis there?

“The people of North Laine do not want a taxi rank there.”

Transport committee

The issue will be discussed at the council’s transport committee tomorrow (January 15).

Councillors are expected to agree to allow additional time to look in more detail at the concerns raised by residents and evaluate the impact of any changes.

This will enable members to make an informed decision on how to proceed at the committee’s March meeting.

Talking point: Where do you think Brighton Station taxi rank should be? What would you like to see done with Brighton station? Share your views by commenting below.

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Comments (21)

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2:42pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Bob_The_Ferret says...

The taxi rank belongs under cover, on the station forecourt or on the cab road inside the station, as it traditionally was.

Travellers with luggage do not want to have to wait out in the open for taxis in all weathers.

Moving the taxi rank away from the station just leaves the forecourt a wasted space.

If there was the will to invest, a small taxi bridge could be built from the north side of the station by the car park onto the old cab road, allowing it to be used without all the traffic having to pass across the front of the station.

There is too much about the plans which stink of the green attitude to taxis being the same as to all motor vehicles, and the proposed queuing area in Frederick Place is being used as an excuse to impose wider traffic restrictions in the North Laine.
The taxi rank belongs under cover, on the station forecourt or on the cab road inside the station, as it traditionally was. Travellers with luggage do not want to have to wait out in the open for taxis in all weathers. Moving the taxi rank away from the station just leaves the forecourt a wasted space. If there was the will to invest, a small taxi bridge could be built from the north side of the station by the car park onto the old cab road, allowing it to be used without all the traffic having to pass across the front of the station. There is too much about the plans which stink of the green attitude to taxis being the same as to all motor vehicles, and the proposed queuing area in Frederick Place is being used as an excuse to impose wider traffic restrictions in the North Laine. Bob_The_Ferret

2:55pm Mon 14 Jan 13

mark by the sea says...

Bob_The_Ferret wrote:
The taxi rank belongs under cover, on the station forecourt or on the cab road inside the station, as it traditionally was.

Travellers with luggage do not want to have to wait out in the open for taxis in all weathers.

Moving the taxi rank away from the station just leaves the forecourt a wasted space.

If there was the will to invest, a small taxi bridge could be built from the north side of the station by the car park onto the old cab road, allowing it to be used without all the traffic having to pass across the front of the station.

There is too much about the plans which stink of the green attitude to taxis being the same as to all motor vehicles, and the proposed queuing area in Frederick Place is being used as an excuse to impose wider traffic restrictions in the North Laine.
Your wrong on most points raised, firstly the forecourt is going to be shops and possibly a market, this will probably go ahead as the area is owned by the railroad company..the taxi working the station need a permit, around 350 permits are issued, there will be about 560 taxis that can pick up on the road. Which means taxis everywhere if permitted to operate outside station .... I don't understand why the taxi stand can't be at the back of station as it was when works were carried out in the summer
[quote][p][bold]Bob_The_Ferret[/bold] wrote: The taxi rank belongs under cover, on the station forecourt or on the cab road inside the station, as it traditionally was. Travellers with luggage do not want to have to wait out in the open for taxis in all weathers. Moving the taxi rank away from the station just leaves the forecourt a wasted space. If there was the will to invest, a small taxi bridge could be built from the north side of the station by the car park onto the old cab road, allowing it to be used without all the traffic having to pass across the front of the station. There is too much about the plans which stink of the green attitude to taxis being the same as to all motor vehicles, and the proposed queuing area in Frederick Place is being used as an excuse to impose wider traffic restrictions in the North Laine.[/p][/quote]Your wrong on most points raised, firstly the forecourt is going to be shops and possibly a market, this will probably go ahead as the area is owned by the railroad company..the taxi working the station need a permit, around 350 permits are issued, there will be about 560 taxis that can pick up on the road. Which means taxis everywhere if permitted to operate outside station .... I don't understand why the taxi stand can't be at the back of station as it was when works were carried out in the summer mark by the sea

3:29pm Mon 14 Jan 13

BURIRAM says...

The taxi rank should be at the back of the station, this should be sorted now as most nights you cannot go along Surrey Street and turn right into Queens road due to selfish taxi drivers double parked and parked on traffic lights.
The taxi rank should be at the back of the station, this should be sorted now as most nights you cannot go along Surrey Street and turn right into Queens road due to selfish taxi drivers double parked and parked on traffic lights. BURIRAM

4:05pm Mon 14 Jan 13

RustyJames says...

The taxis should be behind the station, with clear signage within the station to direct passengers there.

Frederick Place is way too small to accommodate all the taxis currently waiting at the station, and the overspill would needlessly clog up the North Laine area, causing noise and pollution in small residential streets.
The taxis should be behind the station, with clear signage within the station to direct passengers there. Frederick Place is way too small to accommodate all the taxis currently waiting at the station, and the overspill would needlessly clog up the North Laine area, causing noise and pollution in small residential streets. RustyJames

5:29pm Mon 14 Jan 13

bug eye says...

if you are going to take a congested area and take out lanes, narrow roads turn some into one ways etc. then obviously congestion and pollution will rise the same as in other areas of the city where this madness has occurred, the economy of the city is at high risk. for the taxi rank it sounds best to be at the back of the station alongside a car drop off area.
if you are going to take a congested area and take out lanes, narrow roads turn some into one ways etc. then obviously congestion and pollution will rise the same as in other areas of the city where this madness has occurred, the economy of the city is at high risk. for the taxi rank it sounds best to be at the back of the station alongside a car drop off area. bug eye

5:42pm Mon 14 Jan 13

upsidedowntuctuc says...

Taxis are to be thrown out of the front of the Station Ferret so where can they go?
Interesting 700 signatures against Taxis the whole scheme is blocked for further 'consultation' despite it going on for over a year with ALL consulted.
800 plus signatures about 20MPH blanket zone protesting about lack of consultation by Taxis will be pushed through.
Taxis as a key part of Transport in the City in Davey's eyes My A..e ..
Taxis are to be thrown out of the front of the Station Ferret so where can they go? Interesting 700 signatures against Taxis the whole scheme is blocked for further 'consultation' despite it going on for over a year with ALL consulted. 800 plus signatures about 20MPH blanket zone protesting about lack of consultation by Taxis will be pushed through. Taxis as a key part of Transport in the City in Davey's eyes My A..e .. upsidedowntuctuc

7:39pm Mon 14 Jan 13

streetspy says...

Whilst I feel sorry for the North Laine residents, the taxis have to be moved from the station entrance. I am at the station nearly every day, very often late at night night. The taxi drivers block the access and surrounding areas, they have no thought for other road users or pedestrians. They are a safety hazard and are constantly sounding there horns. I feel sorry for the bus drivers when they find the bus stand blocked at 11pm. Why use the taxis anyway, we have a good bus service in Brighton and the taxis are far to expensive anyway. Maybe the rear of the station is the answer but get rid of the taxis at the front of the station.
Whilst I feel sorry for the North Laine residents, the taxis have to be moved from the station entrance. I am at the station nearly every day, very often late at night night. The taxi drivers block the access and surrounding areas, they have no thought for other road users or pedestrians. They are a safety hazard and are constantly sounding there horns. I feel sorry for the bus drivers when they find the bus stand blocked at 11pm. Why use the taxis anyway, we have a good bus service in Brighton and the taxis are far to expensive anyway. Maybe the rear of the station is the answer but get rid of the taxis at the front of the station. streetspy

11:25pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Wooton Basset says...

A taxi rank is a place of work,not an unsightly obstruction to be moved away from its purpose.
A taxi rank is a place of work,not an unsightly obstruction to be moved away from its purpose. Wooton Basset

10:25am Tue 15 Jan 13

banargustrolls says...

The obvious place the taxis need to go is at the back entrance. They cause way too much trouble out the front - bibbing and blocking traffic and causing havoc in Surrey St.
The obvious place the taxis need to go is at the back entrance. They cause way too much trouble out the front - bibbing and blocking traffic and causing havoc in Surrey St. banargustrolls

10:31am Tue 15 Jan 13

banargustrolls says...

The obvious place the taxis need to go is at the back entrance. They cause way too much trouble out the front - bibbing and blocking traffic and causing havoc in Surrey St.
The obvious place the taxis need to go is at the back entrance. They cause way too much trouble out the front - bibbing and blocking traffic and causing havoc in Surrey St. banargustrolls

10:33am Tue 15 Jan 13

s_james says...

If anyone actually looks at the scheme they will see that taxis will pick up passengers at the very top of Trafalgar Street – still outside the front of the station. They will just use Frederick Place to rank up. I don’t think the back of the station is really practical as the majority of journeys are probably to the city centre and this would cause a much longer route and consequent big increase in fares. I support the scheme as it is.
If anyone actually looks at the scheme they will see that taxis will pick up passengers at the very top of Trafalgar Street – still outside the front of the station. They will just use Frederick Place to rank up. I don’t think the back of the station is really practical as the majority of journeys are probably to the city centre and this would cause a much longer route and consequent big increase in fares. I support the scheme as it is. s_james

11:20am Tue 15 Jan 13

StyleCop says...

Agreed, The current proposals appear to be a good idea; assuming that the long term view is to create an autonomous system for the taxis/cabs to self manage - unfortunately, it's been shown that the cab drivers are incapable of doing this, so I suspect that any solution will fall fowl of self interest, ignorance and greed...

...as many people do, I pass through the station daily to and from work in the New England Quarter. The front of the station is constantly in a state of chaos, particularly during the rush hour periods.

Taxi drivers who block their own entrance & exit, their drop off zone, the traffic lights and the bus lanes are either greedy, selfish, ignorant, stupid, or more likely, a combination of the above.

If they had any sense of morale duty, (and no passengers to drop off) as soon as they see the backing up rank to the entry gates, they should feel inclined to move on, to Queens Square, or one of the many other ranks around the city. But they just don't, they throw caution to the wind and line up without any thought to anyone else, road user or pedestrian alike - they're simply after their next fare... (and rightly so) - but at the expense of the immediate environment?

The citizens of the North Laines could also adopt a civic sense of responsibility for the good of the wider community and city. If one chooses to move to the center of an overcrowded city, (like I did), then one must be prepared to compromise.

As for the the rear of the station - it too would require remodelling to accomadate the quantity of cabs, the access in/out via stroudley road/billington way is tight enough as it is, it also has residential properties in close proximity and is further for those with luggage/and or disabled to reach to/from platforms - so all that needs to be taken into account.

That said, there is certain amount of sense in adding a rank to the rear -however, it shouldn't be the main one as this drop off point is more appropriate for domestic vehicles.

If I were the station manager, I'd be inclined to insist there were some form of traffic management at the front of the station - a person or persons employed (by the station, or taxi organistations) to police the rank and make sure that if it begins to fill up to a point it becomes a hazard - then empty cabs are ushered away, before they begin to manouvre into the forecourt... Those not complying would be penalised, either through fines, or having their station license revoked or not renewed.

In my mind, this may well be a cheaper solution than attempting to create an autonomous, self managed system.

I've been to train stations and airports throughout the world (first world and third world) and most have some form of traffic management, individuals, on foot, who are they purely to make sure that the cab companies comply with local rules.

Why not here?
Agreed, The current proposals appear to be a good idea; assuming that the long term view is to create an autonomous system for the taxis/cabs to self manage - unfortunately, it's been shown that the cab drivers are incapable of doing this, so I suspect that any solution will fall fowl of self interest, ignorance and greed... ...as many people do, I pass through the station daily to and from work in the New England Quarter. The front of the station is constantly in a state of chaos, particularly during the rush hour periods. Taxi drivers who block their own entrance & exit, their drop off zone, the traffic lights and the bus lanes are either greedy, selfish, ignorant, stupid, or more likely, a combination of the above. If they had any sense of morale duty, (and no passengers to drop off) as soon as they see the backing up rank to the entry gates, they should feel inclined to move on, to Queens Square, or one of the many other ranks around the city. But they just don't, they throw caution to the wind and line up without any thought to anyone else, road user or pedestrian alike - they're simply after their next fare... (and rightly so) - but at the expense of the immediate environment? The citizens of the North Laines could also adopt a civic sense of responsibility for the good of the wider community and city. If one chooses to move to the center of an overcrowded city, (like I did), then one must be prepared to compromise. As for the the rear of the station - it too would require remodelling to accomadate the quantity of cabs, the access in/out via stroudley road/billington way is tight enough as it is, it also has residential properties in close proximity and is further for those with luggage/and or disabled to reach to/from platforms - so all that needs to be taken into account. That said, there is certain amount of sense in adding a rank to the rear -however, it shouldn't be the main one as this drop off point is more appropriate for domestic vehicles. If I were the station manager, I'd be inclined to insist there were some form of traffic management at the front of the station - a person or persons employed (by the station, or taxi organistations) to police the rank and make sure that if it begins to fill up to a point it becomes a hazard - then empty cabs are ushered away, before they begin to manouvre into the forecourt... Those not complying would be penalised, either through fines, or having their station license revoked or not renewed. In my mind, this may well be a cheaper solution than attempting to create an autonomous, self managed system. I've been to train stations and airports throughout the world (first world and third world) and most have some form of traffic management, individuals, on foot, who are they purely to make sure that the cab companies comply with local rules. Why not here? StyleCop

12:39pm Tue 15 Jan 13

pinballdave says...

The current layout inside the station can hold about 25-30 cabs before they start spilling out of the front. During rush hour, a single commuter train from London can be enough to occupy all of these cabs. So drivers queue outside knowing that there is still a good chance of getting a fare once the train comes in, and if not the next train is only 15 minutes away.

The new proposed scheme appears to show space for about 34 cabs, so along with the fact that it will be an unrestricted rank (where all 560 cabs are allowed to rank, rather than the ~350 cabs with station permits now), the over-ranking problem will just be moved to a different area.

So why don't the proposals include the possibility of two station ranks, one at the front, and another at the rear. The tourists (which will most likely be heading towards the seafront hotels) will see the cabs out front, and the locals can choose whichever rank is better for them according to their destination.

In the mean time, to alleviate the congestion outside the front of the station, how about formally adopting a feeder rank into the station, either the currently unused northbound lane at the top of Queen's Road or the east side of Surrey Street. With policing and penalties for any cabs queueing down Terminus Road, or waiting and blocking the lights in Junction Road.
The current layout inside the station can hold about 25-30 cabs before they start spilling out of the front. During rush hour, a single commuter train from London can be enough to occupy all of these cabs. So drivers queue outside knowing that there is still a good chance of getting a fare once the train comes in, and if not the next train is only 15 minutes away. The new proposed scheme appears to show space for about 34 cabs, so along with the fact that it will be an unrestricted rank (where all 560 cabs are allowed to rank, rather than the ~350 cabs with station permits now), the over-ranking problem will just be moved to a different area. So why don't the proposals include the possibility of two station ranks, one at the front, and another at the rear. The tourists (which will most likely be heading towards the seafront hotels) will see the cabs out front, and the locals can choose whichever rank is better for them according to their destination. In the mean time, to alleviate the congestion outside the front of the station, how about formally adopting a feeder rank into the station, either the currently unused northbound lane at the top of Queen's Road or the east side of Surrey Street. With policing and penalties for any cabs queueing down Terminus Road, or waiting and blocking the lights in Junction Road. pinballdave

1:21pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Wiggsy says...

pinballdave wrote:
The current layout inside the station can hold about 25-30 cabs before they start spilling out of the front. During rush hour, a single commuter train from London can be enough to occupy all of these cabs. So drivers queue outside knowing that there is still a good chance of getting a fare once the train comes in, and if not the next train is only 15 minutes away. The new proposed scheme appears to show space for about 34 cabs, so along with the fact that it will be an unrestricted rank (where all 560 cabs are allowed to rank, rather than the ~350 cabs with station permits now), the over-ranking problem will just be moved to a different area. So why don't the proposals include the possibility of two station ranks, one at the front, and another at the rear. The tourists (which will most likely be heading towards the seafront hotels) will see the cabs out front, and the locals can choose whichever rank is better for them according to their destination. In the mean time, to alleviate the congestion outside the front of the station, how about formally adopting a feeder rank into the station, either the currently unused northbound lane at the top of Queen's Road or the east side of Surrey Street. With policing and penalties for any cabs queueing down Terminus Road, or waiting and blocking the lights in Junction Road.
Your point concerning having taxi ranks at both the back and front is something I've wondered; other stations maintain more than one rank so why not Brighton?

There is also the forecourt at the front of the station which rather than being used for the market traders could be opened out to allow the taxis to drive through this area directly to Terminus Road as opposed to the one exit into Queens Road.

The station itself is well overdue a revamp in its design, and perhaps they should also be considering utilising the area between platforms 7 and 8 as a waiting area for taxi's?
[quote][p][bold]pinballdave[/bold] wrote: The current layout inside the station can hold about 25-30 cabs before they start spilling out of the front. During rush hour, a single commuter train from London can be enough to occupy all of these cabs. So drivers queue outside knowing that there is still a good chance of getting a fare once the train comes in, and if not the next train is only 15 minutes away. The new proposed scheme appears to show space for about 34 cabs, so along with the fact that it will be an unrestricted rank (where all 560 cabs are allowed to rank, rather than the ~350 cabs with station permits now), the over-ranking problem will just be moved to a different area. So why don't the proposals include the possibility of two station ranks, one at the front, and another at the rear. The tourists (which will most likely be heading towards the seafront hotels) will see the cabs out front, and the locals can choose whichever rank is better for them according to their destination. In the mean time, to alleviate the congestion outside the front of the station, how about formally adopting a feeder rank into the station, either the currently unused northbound lane at the top of Queen's Road or the east side of Surrey Street. With policing and penalties for any cabs queueing down Terminus Road, or waiting and blocking the lights in Junction Road.[/p][/quote]Your point concerning having taxi ranks at both the back and front is something I've wondered; other stations maintain more than one rank so why not Brighton? There is also the forecourt at the front of the station which rather than being used for the market traders could be opened out to allow the taxis to drive through this area directly to Terminus Road as opposed to the one exit into Queens Road. The station itself is well overdue a revamp in its design, and perhaps they should also be considering utilising the area between platforms 7 and 8 as a waiting area for taxi's? Wiggsy

2:04pm Tue 15 Jan 13

IShouldoftriedharder says...

Wiggsy wrote


"The station itself is well overdue a revamp in its design, and perhaps they should also be considering utilising the area between platforms 7 and 8 as a waiting area for taxi's?".

This is an excellent idea. I'm not sure of exactly how they would do it but I think this would solve the majority of the problems people have written on so far, and utilise a space that is underused at this time.

It's already a road between 7 and 8, so saving on redevelopment could also be made.
Wiggsy wrote "The station itself is well overdue a revamp in its design, and perhaps they should also be considering utilising the area between platforms 7 and 8 as a waiting area for taxi's?". This is an excellent idea. I'm not sure of exactly how they would do it but I think this would solve the majority of the problems people have written on so far, and utilise a space that is underused at this time. It's already a road between 7 and 8, so saving on redevelopment could also be made. IShouldoftriedharder

2:02pm Wed 16 Jan 13

StyleCop says...

This does bear some level of logic, however;

- Where exactly do the cabs turn around?

- Not exactly pleasant conditions for build of fumes neither.

- On Match Days this area is currently used to traffic football fans to the Falmer trains.

No, I think given some further thought it's innappropriate.
This does bear some level of logic, however; - Where exactly do the cabs turn around? - Not exactly pleasant conditions for build of fumes neither. - On Match Days this area is currently used to traffic football fans to the Falmer trains. No, I think given some further thought it's innappropriate. StyleCop

5:49pm Wed 16 Jan 13

destroyallgovernments says...

Just move the cabs and their drivers somewhere else, plenty of room around the back of the station, they sound their horns, are rude, and arrogant, overpriced, obstruct the buses. Leave Brighton station alone, no gentrification, enough is enough, Brighton used to be fun, now it;s just a London dormitory, with all the saddos who couldn't afford London flat/house prices moving down here, because of them the rents have rocketed, outside the station used to be interesting, old secondhand bookshops, quirky shops, now it's bland bland bland, just like a lot of the people living in Brighton and commuting to London. The buzz has truely gone, it will only get worse now their going to gentrify the station.
Just move the cabs and their drivers somewhere else, plenty of room around the back of the station, they sound their horns, are rude, and arrogant, overpriced, obstruct the buses. Leave Brighton station alone, no gentrification, enough is enough, Brighton used to be fun, now it;s just a London dormitory, with all the saddos who couldn't afford London flat/house prices moving down here, because of them the rents have rocketed, outside the station used to be interesting, old secondhand bookshops, quirky shops, now it's bland bland bland, just like a lot of the people living in Brighton and commuting to London. The buzz has truely gone, it will only get worse now their going to gentrify the station. destroyallgovernments

6:01pm Wed 16 Jan 13

StyleCop says...

Nothing like a sweeping statement eh...? ;)

I think you need to stay off the murphys.
Nothing like a sweeping statement eh...? ;) I think you need to stay off the murphys. StyleCop

6:02pm Wed 16 Jan 13

destroyallgovernments says...

And another thing, has anyone seen the mess that Seven Dials has become since its gentrification? It's now a roundabout with a motorway going through it lol, if you want a lungful of petrol fumes, it's the place to be, that bilious old queen Fanshawe has a lot to answer for!
And another thing, has anyone seen the mess that Seven Dials has become since its gentrification? It's now a roundabout with a motorway going through it lol, if you want a lungful of petrol fumes, it's the place to be, that bilious old queen Fanshawe has a lot to answer for! destroyallgovernments

6:03pm Wed 16 Jan 13

destroyallgovernments says...

StyleCop (lol) I think YOU need to live in REALITY!
StyleCop (lol) I think YOU need to live in REALITY! destroyallgovernments

6:03pm Wed 16 Jan 13

destroyallgovernments says...

StyleCop (lol) I think YOU need to live in REALITY!
StyleCop (lol) I think YOU need to live in REALITY! destroyallgovernments

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