Taxpayers face £1m bill for train station taxi ban
TAXPAYERS are facing a £1 million bill if cabbies are forced out of Edinburgh’s main rail station.
The city council has revealed the cost of changing parking arrangements and creating new ranks outside Waverley Station if Network Rail implements a planned ban at Waverley.
The authority insists it has no intention of paying for the measures, which would be introduced on Waverley Bridge and Market Street.
However, the cost estimates are being questioned by Network Rail, which has pointed out they are around double the cost of bringing in new security ramps, which will prevent vehicles accessing the station outwith loading and unloading periods.
Councillors have vowed to fight the taxi ban, which the rail firm insists is needed to comply with UK-wide security measures.
The Scotsman revealed last week that the new council administration had set a collision course with Network Rail over the proposed taxi ban amid fears elderly and disabled passengers would face inconvenience and confusion. Council transport leader Lesley Hinds said: “We are not prepared to foot the bill to accommodate measures we don’t believe are justified.
“Although Network Rail has said they will look into security financial assistance for the council there are absolutely no guarantees and we do not think it is acceptable that taxpayers should foot the bill for this.”
A spokesman for Network Rail said it had yet to discuss the council’s need for new taxi ranks and said it did not recognise the figures produced by the council.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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