Will allowing Southend taxi drivers to drop off and pick up wherever they like improve the passenger experience this Christmas?

Southend transportation chiefs have confirmed that from 24th December – 2nd January, licensed taxis within the borough of Southend On Sea will be able to stop anywhere to ensure that passengers can be picked up and dropped off as quickly as possible. A trial version of the scheme has already been running locally for the last 50 years, and official statistics show that there is hardly any inconvenience to other road users as a result.

Barry Carry, head of the Southend Taxi and Kebab Van Alliance, welcomed the news as a ‘step in the right direction’ for public transport in Southend On Sea. He said, ‘We have already made significant progress in recent years with bus companies forcing people into taxis by providing a service that couldn’t possibly be more inconvenient, and this latest development means that taxi drivers will be able to pick up and drop off passengers without having to worry about a lack of parking spaces, general traffic movements and pretty much the needs of anyone who doesn’t want to get in their vehicle.’

He added, ‘Local motorists and pedestrians need to stop and take a deep breath when they see a taxi parked in the middle of the road. First of all, we will always have our hazard lights on, which is recognised by the Highway Code as a legal signal to show that we will only be there for a few minutes. On top of this, if we have stopped adjacent to a zebra crossing, we are actually making it safer for walkers to cross – everyone approaching the crossing will have to slow down anyway which can only be a good thing.