Just a few lines painted in a car park create a great benefit for Hungerford
Until now Hungerford has had just one taxi rank bay on the east side of the High Street under the railway bridge. This bay is inconveniently shared with delivery vehicles bringing supplies to the High Street shops. The rule for that bay is meant to be deliveries only from 7am to 11am and the rest of the time was exclusively for taxis.
Unfortunately, delivery vehicles can arrive at any time of the day and sometimes park there illegally if they arrive after 11am. If a taxi is parked there between jobs, then there is often an argument. The situation is not helped by the signage which is small and unclear in its wording.
The taxi drivers therefore approached Hungerford Town Council some time ago and asked if something could be done. Some other places for a taxi rank were suggested on or near the High Street. Outside the Corn Exchange seemed the best idea, but there were a number of issues which would have to be sorted out first.
It was also agreed that there should be a taxi rank at the Station: but where? Then one of the taxi drivers observed that the area in front of the cycle racks was unused and would be ideal. HTC discussed this with the Station manager for GWR and she agreed. But then she retired; then Covid arrived.
Fortunately, now things are back on track. When HTC Councillor Rob Chicken asked the new Station Manager, Kevin King, about putting in the taxi rank bay at the Station, the answer came back ‘no problem’. The lines were duly painted and the taxi rank bays are now in use. This means visitors coming to Hungerford by train can be sure of getting a taxi as soon as they arrive.
As for the bay under the bridge, some taxis will still want to use this for parking between jobs and the occasional friction between them and the other drivers is sadly likely to continue. However, once the Covid situation has eased, HTC can complete the work with West Berkshire Highways department to move the High Street taxi rank to a better position.
Photo above left to right: Andrew Berry, Assistant Station Manager GWR, local taxi driver Mark Townsend, Keith Knight Deputy Mayor for Hungerford, local taxi driver Chris Hall and Kevin King, GWR Hungerford Station Manager.
• For more on the various long-running (and continuing) issues about the current and proposed car parking arrangements at the station, see this separate post.