Francis Street taxi rank to start operating next year

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Night time taxi ranks will operate from Francis Street and Park Street, Dundalk, from 2014, the Dundalk Joint Policing Committee (JPC) heard last week.

Night time taxi ranks will operate from Francis Street and Park Street, Dundalk, from 2014, the Dundalk Joint Policing Committee (JPC) heard last week.

Dundalk Town Councillor Conor Keelan asked when the ranks will start to operate and Dundalk Town Clerk, Frank Pentony, said they will come into operation next year.

Cllr Keelan told The Dundalk Democrat that he welcomes the news.

“The Municipal Planning Policy Committee (MPC) have made very good amendments to the plans,” Cllr Keelan said.

“They spent a considerable amount of time working on the issue. Following the public consultation, I feel that the amendments made, form a good policy to introduce these night time ranks.”

Frankie McRory, manager of the Sevens Cabs Compnay in Dundalk, says the ranks will stop congestion on Park Street.

“It will make the situation a lot more manageable,” Mr McRory said.

“And I welcome the news that the ranks will be in operation in 2014.

“There is a lot of congestion on Park Street and hopefully it will stop the illegal parking in that area.”

When the plans were first announced several businesses in the area expressed their concerns.

Well known businessman Jimmy Cumiskey, whose business is based in Francis Street, told The Dundalk Democrat that he still believes the ranks are not necessary.

“There are a number of good taxi services in Dundalk,” Mr Cumiskey said.

“All you have to do is call them and they will pick you up from anywhere.

“There are many mobile apps now that people can use to order a taxi.

“Local companies even text you when the taxi is outside and the registration number of the car.

“These ranks are not needed.

“The rank on Crowe Street is no longer over crowded, as was suggested when the plans were first announced.”

The plans to introduce additional ranks in the town centre came about when taxi drivers highlighted that there was not enough space at the Crowe Street rank.

Negotiations had been ongoing for some time between the taxi regulator, gardai, drivers, Dundalk Chamber and the Dundalk Town Council.

Just a few years ago the late night rank at Crowe Street was described as a real hazard with taxis queuing up right around the square. Town councillors wanted to put ranks elsewhere.