Thursday, 19 February 2009

Half Measures

The SNP/Lib Dem led council revealed their budget last week, which contained the kind of making a bad situation truly horrendous measures which are steadily becoming the hallmark of this administration. One figure did stand out though, Renfrewshire Council have spent £230million in renovating and rebuilding our schools, which is strange considering the capital value of this project according to the UK Partnerships website is £194.6 million. You can, I’m sure draw your own conclusions.

This entry however is about something which our council leaders have not announced anything about. It seems that our council has taken it upon themselves to ban “private hire” taxis from the centre of Paisley. These Taxis’s have been told to drop off people at the back of Wetherspoons, the top and bottom of New Street and the bottom of Causeyside Street. Any cab’s breaking this ban faces 3 points added to their licences. This curfew however doesn’t apply to the white hack’s who are still allowed up New Street and around Gauze Street/Smithhills Street and the rank at Gilmour Street.

This is a strange measure, and there is no reasoning behind it. It is creating a monopoly for taxi’s at the centre of Paisley’s nightlife, with the hacks able to hoover up business here as people come out of pub’s and clubs at closing time. The Hacks are easily the more expensive of the taxi operations in Paisley. A Private hire cab costs about £5 from the town centre to the top end of Glenburn. A Hack costs about £7.20 for the same journey. The SNP/Lib Dem council are possibly trying to stop the Paisley Cab’s empire, but this measure only hurts the cabbies, not Paisley Cab’s owner Stephen Malcolm (who has put up the rent for their radio’s, again). It is the honest cab drivers here who will feel the pain more.

There is a significant walking distance from the middle of New Street to either end. This makes the centre of Paisley less safe for our young adults, and in particular our young women. If a woman is attacked, or worse in this area, this measure will have helped any potential crime take place. Overall, this is a measure which makes no sense at all, and is a potentially dangerous one. I hope the Council explain themselves and soon.

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