Another rank to open
THE Bell St taxi rank saga may be near resolution as parties involved agreed to establish a temporary rank for the next 12 months.
A meeting on Thursday between Ipswich City Council, Bell St businesses and Yellow Cabs resolved to move the Bell St rank to the Woolworths parcel pick-up at Ipswich City Square.
It is expected to be running next week and is a step in the right direction for the troubled Bell St.
Councillor Andrew Antoniolli has worked with those affected, urging each to sacrifice in the short term for long-term gain.
All parties had come to the table to find a workable solution - except TransLink.
"I've been working passively towards a solution with all the stakeholders in that street," Cr Antoniolli said.
"There are a number of common interests in that street and one of the ones not being discussed is the need for additional disability parking. The taxis and businesses have been asked to compromise. The only one who has not compromised is TransLink.
"I'm calling on TransLink to come to the party and help us find a solution."
Cr Antoniolli said the existing solution was only temporary.
"It is only whilst we have the construction going on with the Icon Ipswich development.
"A little bit of pain for long-term gain is what we are asking TransLink for," he said.
A TransLink spokesman said the organisation was working closely with Ipswich City Council and other agencies to meet the needs of all customers during the upgrade period.
The public transport regulator has provided a $1 million grant to Ipswich City Council to fund the Bell St upgrade, where more than 55,000 buses stop each year.
Work on the eastern side was finalised in December 2011.
Ipswich City Council will complete the remaining works following the redevelopment works on Ipswich City Square.
Yellow Taxis Ipswich manager Debbie Morrison said the Caledonian Hotel would be ideal for a second rank, to run alongside the Woolworths rank.
"It is the ideal place," she said.
Mayor Paul Pisasale said he was determined to find a solution.
"The taxi industry is the most important industry in our city. They provide a vital service to our community," he said.