A pledge has been made by Kirkcaldy councillors to do all they can to help the town’s taxi drivers in the wake of Tesco’s closure announcement.
Councillor Neil Crooks, chairman of the Kirkcaldy area committee, told members this week that everything would be done in the Council’s power to provide additional taxi ranks around the town.
We have been trying to get more ranks for years, so we will wait to see if it actually happensArthur Wylie
The chairman told members he had been in discussions with the Kirkcaldy Taxi Owners’ Association, where members had informed him that the closure of the Tesco supermarket on April 4 would have a “massive impact” on their livelihood.
“It could be as much as a £1 million hit for local drivers, and that’s a massive amount,” he said.
He explained that, in light of the knock-on effect of the closure, he’d had talks with council officers about the creation of additional taxi ranks around the town.
“We will make these things happen as quickly as possible,” said Cllr Crooks, adding that priority would be given to the plans.
“Officers won’t hold back for months on end with Traffic Regulation Orders – they will get on and make things happen.”
The pledge was given a cautious welcome by Arthur Wylie, secretary of the Kirkcaldy Taxi Owners’ Association.
“We have been trying to get more ranks for years, so we will wait to see if it actually happens,” he said.
“It has been like banging our heads against a brick wall, so if the Council can help this to happen, then it would definitely help us.
“The Tesco rank is going to become a graveyard, so we will need somewhere for 70 taxis to go.”
Andrew Drummond, who has been a taxi driver in the town for over 20 years, added: “It would certainly help; anything positive would help.
“Unless they get another big supermarket to move into the site, we will be struggling.
‘‘I know the Council is talking to Asda and NHS Fife about getting ranks there and at Victoria Hospital, where there are people coming and going all the time, and that would be good.
“There is one at Kirkcaldy health centre, but it’s still a long way for elderly or sick people to walk.”