TAXI drivers say they have seen a 30 per cent drop in business since their rank was moved from the front of Brighton station.

They were furious when their bay was relocated behind the station last month.

Govia Thameslink Railway plans to turn the old space into a “covered pedestrian plaza” with a café and an area for bikes. It said the new rank is larger and allows quicker access for journeys out of the city.

But taxi drivers said they have lost nearly a third of their income since the move.

Niti Halili, 48, from Whitehawk, has been a taxi driver for 10 years. He said: “I’ve seen at least seen a 30 per cent drop in business.

“It’s bad. We have to work longer hours just to make a living.

“It’s becoming hard. We’re losing time, money, and jobs. People coming out of the station just don’t know how to find us.

“We’re losing all the work we used to get out the front. When customers see us right in front of them, they’re tempted to get a cab. Not any more. Now it’s a nightmare.

“The new rank is a bottleneck. It’s one in, one out. It limits business and it gets so congested.”

Others said their business had taken an even greater hit. Cabbie Mina Guirguis, 34, said: “I’ve seen more than 30 per cent of my business go. It’s more like 40 per cent.

“It’s so much more difficult to drop and pick off customers. It’s left me so stressed.”

A spokeswoman for Govia Thameslink Railway said: “The relocation of the rank and the ongoing redevelopment of the northern entrance has been a partnership initiative between GTR and Brighton and Hove City Council.

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

At the time of the move, the company’s lead facilities manager Karl McCormack said: “The rank is moving because 16.5 million use the station now each year and it simply isn’t fit for purpose for the number of vehicles.”

He said: “We have advertised the new rank extremely clearly with vinyl floor stickers along the walking route from the ticket gates, banners on the walls of the station, fences and in the location of the old rank, new signposts, station PA announcements, posters, and messages put out on the trains as people arrive.

“We have also given taxi drivers leaflets showing the location of the new rank for each driver to give to their passengers when dropping off.”