Following a temporary trial last December, the scheme has been commended and supported by West Mercia police, who saw a reduction in crime and disorder and traffic offences.
Lasting twelve months and supported by Herefordshire Council, the scheme will see taxi marshals in high visibility jackets working in pairs to aid night-time revellers on their way home. One marshal will be stationed behind the Odeon cinema to direct the flow of taxis to three locations. These will be the Fusion Nightclub on Commercial Road, Yates’s Wine Lodge on Commercial Road and the opposite side of Commercial Road after the bus stop. A second marshal will oversee the three pick-up spots, ensuring that people safely get into the vehicles.
Marc Willimont, head of Environmental Protection and Licensing says: “By delivering a taxi marshalling service, we will be able to deliver a safer night time economy in Hereford. After looking at comparable weekends in 2011 and 2010, we see that admissions to accident and emergency due to alcohol were reduced by 33% and the number of police offences associated with alcohol went down by nearly 60%. Although this is just an indication of likely benefits we are confident that it can deliver and are aware that both the police and taxi trade are very supportive of this initiative.”
Clive Goodwin has been driving taxis for 20 years and is looking forward to the scheme: “The taxi scheme will hopefully have positive effects on Hereford’s nightlife. First and foremost it will be a safer place in Commercial Road for the public and calm down the traffic and the road will be clearer for other road users.”
The scheme will start in November.