FED UP: Taxi driver Chris Owen is fed up as construction of the Airlie Beach taxi rank continues to meet delays.
FED UP: Taxi driver Chris Owen is fed up as construction of the Airlie Beach taxi rank continues to meet delays.

Driver pursues taxi rank issue

AIRLIE Beach taxi driver Chris Owen is fed up with constant delays surrounding the reinstatement of a taxi rank on the main street.

The rank was relocated from the site opposite McDonald's in Airlie Beach three years ago while the street was being upgraded. The upgrade has long been completed but the taxi rank has not been returned and a temporary rank remains outside Phoenix Night Club.

Mr Owen said he had sought confirmation about when the taxi rank would be returned at a council meeting in March.

"They stated that the work would be completed in the early part of the latter half of this year, which meant June, July, August," he said. "And now we're into November and not a thing has happened."

Another taxi driver pursued the issue at the October 28 council meeting and a response is expected to be delivered at the next meeting in Bowen.

Mr Owen isn't convinced. "They've done this once before and then not acted on what they said," he said.

"This is my personal view, the council should be dismissed and an administrator put in because they are incapable of doing what they are supposed to be doing.

"I'm calling for the minister for transport and councils to come and meet with the taxi drivers of Airlie Beach, not the company, because I don't represent the company at all."

Whitsunday Regional Council executive manager roads and drainage Hennie van der Schyff said council had an agreement with the Department of Transport and Main Roads to "construct bus, taxi and way-finding signage infrastructure on Airlie Beach Main Street and Coconut Grove".

"While the design process has been completed, council is awaiting final approval from Translink and confirmation that these plans meet their requirements," he said.

In the meantime, Mr Owen said the relocation of the rank had opened a can of worms. "(Customers are) hailing the taxis driving down the street so we're actually losing control of customers," he said.

"They stand on the edge of the road and if there's no parking they're basically jumping out and forcing the taxis to stop on the main road, where we don't want to stop."

Mr Owen stressed the views in this article are his.


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