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Taxi marshals to be scrapped from Brighton and Hove city centre
Updated 10:27am Saturday 1st March 2014 in News
Taxi marshals have been scrapped in Brighton and Hove - leaving the city's ranks unmanned from this weekend.
The four marshals have been employed since August last year after partners in the city agreed to pay for the positions, which were provided by Unite Security.
Since their reinstatement the marshals had been widely credited with keeping order at taxi ranks in East Street and West Street in Brighton and Hove, particularly in the early hours at the weekend.
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But the positions have been cut as of today (SAT), to the dismay of taxi drivers and councillors, while partners work to arrange further funding.
John Streeter, vice chairman of Streamline taxis, added: “It's been useful for the taxi drivers and to the public [to have the marshals].
“It makes it safer because people see them and it's something that the trade wants to continue.”
Asked if it would reduce the safety of the taxi ranks he added: “Without question it would have a negative impact without them.
“Nothing would be positive without the marshals and most people accept that.”
Coun Gill Mitchell, deputy leader of the Labour and Co-operative Group, said: “This is a really retrograde step.
“The Green Council should find the money for the marshals to continue from the taxi licence fee budget.
“The marshals play a vital part in preventing night time anti-social behaviour in the city centre and helping people to get home safely.”
This is not the first time these roles, which were tasked with keeping order in taxi queues and stopping people who had had too much to drink from getting into taxis, have been removed from the city.
In 2011 they were scrapped after government funding dried up.
Chief Inspector Katy Woolford from Sussex Police said: "Taxi marshalling plays a key part in identifying vulnerable people and preventing crime at night in the city.
"Brighton and Hove police are committed to paying their contribution to this valuable service, which is funded by a number of partners in the city.
"It is unfortunate that this initiative will be interrupted for a short time while partners arrange ongoing funding. A partnership meeting is due to take place imminently so that this service is quickly restored."
Brighton and Hove City Council had not responded about the scrapping of the roles as The Argus went to press last night.
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