True stories from the Great Railway Disaster

A weekly chronicle of the absurdities caused by the Government's privatisation programme; No 48: so you want to take a taxi from the station?
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The Independent Online
PASSENGERS arriving at Cambridge station have been surprised that taxis no longer wait at the rank next to the station but on the approach road a couple of hundred yards away. Anne-Marie Ellis had to wait on the blustery pavement for 10 minutes on a freezing day recently and asked the taxi driver why they no longer used the rank. He said the charges had been increased dramatically by the company running the station and the taxi drivers were therefore boycotting the rank.

West Anglia Great Northern, the train operator which rents the station from Railtrack, confirms that the taxi drivers are no longer using the rank. Previously, taxi owners belonging to the local association paid pounds 117 a year for use of the rank, but in a recent review WAGN increased this to pounds 324. After negotiations, the company knocked this down to pounds 290 but the drivers still refuse to pay. A spokesman for WAGN said that the fee to association members, who comprise most of the town's 120 drivers, had gone up because "charges in Cambridge were lower than in other comparable cities".

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