An Aberdeen taxi rank is to be reopened after two years – as police reveal hopes it could help with late-night violence in the city centre.
Councillors this afternoon agreed to reinstate the taxi rank on Back Wynd.
It comes only days after Aberdeen City Council voted to permanently allow buses and taxis to remain on the central stretch of Union Street.
The Back Wynd taxi rank has not been in use since 2020.
As the first Covid lockdown was lifted, the Granite Mile was closed off to allow more space of pedestrians and shoppers.
But a recent consultation showed the majority supported it reopening – with police hopeful a well-lit Back Wynd rank could dent the number of incidents in busy queues.
Public supported return of Back Wynd taxi rank
A public consultation on the reinstatement of the Back Wynd rank was held earlier this year.
A total of 148 people responded, with the majority in support of reopening the rank.
Police Scotland welcomed the plan saying it would “reduce the risk of disorder or violence associated with large queues”.
But they asked for reassurance around “adequate lighting and provision of taxi marshals at peak times”.
The council’s roads department said taxi rank spaces would need to be reduced between 6pm and 10am to allow larger servicing vehicles to travel through Back Wynd.
Taxi drivers and residents from across the city were hugely supportive of the plan.
Driver Gary Mair said the reinstatement “couldn’t come soon enough” as it was the “best known and most popular rank” in the city.
Meanwhile, Karen Elrick said the rank “needs be open”.
She added: “It is a central location, nobody knows where to go for a taxi now.”
Do you think the right decision has been made? Let us know in our comments section below.
What did councillors have to say?
The city council’s licensing committee met earlier today to discuss the city centre rank.
Officers had recommended Back Wynd be reinstated as an 11-vehicle taxi rank operating from 5am to midnight seven days a week.
Solicitor Sandy Munro told the committee: “There were a number of responses which said that the rank should be 24-hours.
“There’s another couple of people saying ‘why stop at midnight? That’s when we need taxis’.
“For clarity there are night-time ranks on Union Street, those were never disestablished.
“They obviously couldn’t be used when all vehicles couldn’t access that stretch of Union Street but they do not require any formal process to reopen.”
Mr Munro said the night-time ranks would “cater for the demand” between midnight and 5am.
Convener Gill Al-Samarai said she was “content” with the proposal and it was unanimously approved.