Accessibility concerns protest following plans to move taxi rank at Leeds Station

A protest is planned in Leeds city centre voicing concerns against the planned relocation of a taxi rank.

Sunday, 18th July 2021, 4:45 am

Leeds City Council (LCC) plans to pedestrianise Leeds Station and its surrounding area as part of a £39.5 million investment scheme.

Cars and buses will no longer be able to use New Station Street, meaning the taxi rank and bus stops will be moved.

Taxi services will be relocated to Bishopgate Street.

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The taxi rank would be moved as part of the new £39.5million scheme. Pictured: CGI of the new rank.

Members of the LCC AUAG & Disability Hub will be protesting in Millennium Square on Monday, July 19 to voice concerns about the accessibility of the plans.

The protest will be held from 11am to 1pm.

In a statement sent on behalf of the LCC AUAG Station Sub Group Community Representatives, the members said: "A diverse group of Leeds volunteers and residents living with impairment, ill health and disability have been forced to organise a series of 'Justice Gathering' to help ensure their inclusion, participation, rights and equality is recognised, respected and upheld by our city leaders.

It continued: "The Council`s proposal to remove that easy step free accessible taxi rank at Leeds Station and then introduce flights of step and the need for passenger lifts totally fails to improve access.

"In fact it makes the journey longer, unsafe and more difficult for all passengers, especially disabled children and adults and makes the plan an utter farce in comparison to keeping the rank on New Station Street.

"It is recognised by DPTAC that for disabled children and adults Taxis are the most popular door to door modes of public transport after private cars.

"The Council cannot simply dismiss the fundamental importance of taxi ranks for many disabled member of the public and also argue that the rights, inclusion and equality of disabled and older people is somehow in conflict with developing our city and must be sacrificed as part of socially damaging public development."

The council hopes the plans will make it easier to walk in the area and create a direct route between the station entrance and the South Bank.

Cycling infrastructure will be installed on Neville Street, Dark Neville Street (the dark arches) and Bishopgate.

The Leeds Station plans will be delivered by Leeds City Council, in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Network Rail as land owner, via the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund.

The improvements will be delivered by Leeds City Council, in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Network Rail as land owner, via the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund.

Work is due to be completed in 2023.