One of the city’s recent success stories has been Queen’s Road. So many of Brighton’s visitors get their first impressions walking from the Station to the sea down this long straight road – yet it’s looked down-at-heel for decades. Now at last it’s on the up and up – with some of the city’s best coffee shops, a handful of interesting and quirky independent businesses, and a new hotel opening in recent months.
Then there’s the council’s work improving the public realm around the Station. The final phase is due for completion by the summer and involves repaving the entire area in front of the station with high-quality stone. There will be new seating and greenery, better bus stops and an expanded bus information office.
So, what about taxis? Well, at times while the works have been under way, there’s been a temporary rank for taxis on Terminus Road – along the western wall of the Station. This might seem like going back to the early part of last century when this is exactly how it was organised, but this 21st century return to the old ways has worked far better than we had expected. The crucial thing is that it’s removed through traffic from across the front of the Station, making things much safer and less congested for bus users, cyclists and pedestrians. As far as I know, the taxis liked it too, as it avoided the ‘taxi gridlock’ that happens around the Station at peak times.
No through traffic through Queens Road also has benefits down at the Clock Tower for pedestrians, cyclists, buses and taxis, improving the capacity of that difficult crucial junction for all of us.
Personally, I’m a big fan of Brighton and Hove’s taxis. If you’ve lived or visited other towns and small cities in Britain, you’ll know that (as well as a fantastic bus network!) our city is blessed with plentiful, high-quality taxis. They’re an integral part of our public transport system, as along with trains and buses they allow so many of our citizens to live car-free lives … leaving the car at home for journeys around the city, or avoiding car-owning altogether.
So if it works for the city’s taxis around the station, chances are it’s going to work for all of us. And I’m going to be backing the idea that a rank up Terminus Road becomes a permanent fixture. Will you join me?
If you’ve any comments, do get in touch @citybusnews.