A TRADE union has responded to news that a taxi rank at a train station will be moved.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) will move the rank outside the front of Brighton Station to the back of it, in Stroudley Road, on November 11.

Several taxi drivers were vocal in their disapproval of the plans.

Now a representative for taxi drivers from trade union GMB has responded to the move.

Andrew Peters of the GMB Brighton and Hove Taxi Section said: "For many years the situation of the taxi trade trying to provide a good service for train users has been frustrated by several changes to the station forecourt and road layout with what we understand to be about 300 permits being issued to date for only 17 spaces with each driver paying the high fee of nearly £1,000 per year.

"The trade was made aware of the intended move but so far there has not been any consultation with the trade on the actual layout of the new rank as we could have made recommendations on this including such as matters as disability access.

"Additionally, we are not aware of consultation with any disability groups.

"Furthermore, with so many permits issued we have major concerns that providing only 29 spaces will not be sufficient.

"We understand there is a ‘feeding area’ but the full details have not been supplied.

"We also have concerns about what will happen when rail replacement buses will also be using the same space.

"Time will tell as to whether moving the rank to the back will work but the clear facts are that both driving to the back of the station and also exiting is difficult at the best of times and any passenger wanting to go southbound will incur higher fares."

The move will see the station forecourt turned into a “welcoming covered pedestrian plaza”, a GTR spokesman said.

GTR’s lead facilities manager Karl McCormack said: “The current taxi rank has outgrown the southern entrance – with queueing along Junction Road and Surrey Street now a regular occurrence.

“We have received many representations over a number of years about this issue.

“In response to comments from residents, the local authority and local MPs, we have listened and devised this plan to meet these concerns.”

GTR also said this rank will be 50 per cent bigger and will have space for 29 vehicles.

To ensure commuters are aware of the rank, new banners will be put in the station.

Vinyl floor arrows and announcements on trains will also direct people.

Mr McCormack said: “The relocation of the rank and the ongoing redevelopment of the northern entrance is a partnership initiative between GTR and Brighton and Hove City Council.

“It will deliver a new look to both entrances, a new, larger taxi rank and an improved transport interchange for our passengers, which in turn will reduce congestion.

“We also recognise the potential concern from the taxi trade over the impact of the relocation and we will have a new way-finding campaign within the station to help passengers find their way to the new rank.”