A CABBIE says taxi drivers without permits are “stealing” work from those who pay to use the Brighton Station rank.

Cameras were put up as a deterrant to anyone without a permit for the taxi rank in Stroudley Road, next to the station.

The cameras were recently activated, with some drivers complaining of getting charged when picking up from the Jury's Inn hotel, which is on the rank.

But one taxi driver said the cameras should be left where they are to protect the 80 drivers who pay for their permit at the rank - and that he is losing business as a result.

Southern Rail, which manages Brighton Station, said the cameras are in place to protect taxi drivers with a permit for the taxi rank and encouraged all drivers without a permit to use the nearby multi-storey car park, which is free for 20 minutes.

But it will also consider moving the camera forward and having an allocated pick up and drop off spot outside the hotel to prevent drivers being charged when going to jobs at the hotel.

The Argus: One of the cameras in Stroudley RoadOne of the cameras in Stroudley Road

The cabbie, who runs his own independent taxi business, thinks the cameras should remain.

He said: “They wanted to stop accidents that were happening, but also to stop those who don’t have permits coming on to the site and stealing work as it were.

“If you’re sitting there for a couple of hours, as we have been during Covid, waiting for a job and someone takes work away from you, it’s very annoying.

“That’s really what the issue is, health and safety and to stop people procuring work without authorisation."

The cabbie said he pays £915 a year for use of the rank and that others entering it should pay that too.

The Argus: Times have been tough for taxi drivers since the pandemicTimes have been tough for taxi drivers since the pandemic

He also encouraged people staying in the Jury’s Inn behind the station to use taxis with rank permits.

His comments came after complaints from taxi drivers and the Brighton and Hove Cab Trade Association, which said its members were being wrongly fined for picking up people from the Jury’s Inn.

They argue they should not be punished for answering calls to pick up people from outside the hotel, which they are allowed to do.

Despite this, the cabbie rejected calls to move the camera.

He said: “I don’t think the camera should be moved. It covers the front entrance of the rank and drivers who come on to the rank who don’t have a permit.

“The hotel is on the rank so, for people who want a taxi, there are 80 cars that have permits.

“That’s what it’s all about, people being caught out. People have been doing it for over a year now, ignored the signs and camera. Now all of a sudden because the camera has come live, there are protests.”

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