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New ranks planned to end capital's taxi wars

CITY officials want to build new permanent taxi ranks in the hope of ending the capital's long-running taxi wars.

The City Council are hopeful that more space for Dublin's taxi drivers could help alleviate tensions in the industry.

There have been widespread reports of rows between drivers who are desperate to get onto the city's existing ranks.

Under the new proposals, taxis will now be able to wait for fares on streets like Adelaide Road, Holles Street, Marlborough Place, North Wall Quay and Sir John Rogerson's Quay, while special night-time ranks will be opened on streets like Bachelors Walk.

The changes are detailed in DCC's draft taxi rank bye-laws, which will be discussed by councillors next Thursday at a meeting of the Transport and Traffic Strategic Policy Committee.

An episode of Prime Time Investigates shocked viewers last month by exposing the intimidation and bullying that goes on amongst drivers at ranks across the city.

And it exposed drivers with criminal records, dangerous cars, drivers double-jobbing, drivers without licences, and corrupt NCT testers.

To prepare the draft taxi rank bye-laws, the Roads and Traffic Department invited submissions up to a closing date of June last year.

A "significant number" of these asked for more ranks or the relocation of existing ranks, according to Tim O'Sullivan, Executive Manager at the Roads and Traffic Department.

Ranks will also be on Barrow Street, Cardiff Lane, Crane Street, Hatch Street, St Patrick's Close and Whitefriar Street, according to the report.

And new evening and night-time ranks are proposed at Bachelors Walk, Castleforbes Road, Georges Street Great South, Macken Street, and Ormond Quay Lower.

Revisions are also proposed for some already existing ranks in the city.

The one at Sackville Place will be extended through the loading bay and made permanent, while at Westmoreland Street it will be relocated northwards.

However, Jerry Brennan from Siptu said some of these ranks would be on streets where pedestrian footfall is low, especially at night-time -- a crucial period for drivers' earnings.

"It's great that there's going to be a provision of more taxi rank spaces, but very often they're being provided in an area where they're not needed and where people don't frequent and where they don't go to look for a taxi," he said.