Taxi drivers slam council – authority fails to set up taxi ranks near music festival

First published Saturday 30 May 2015 in The Argus

TAXI drivers have accused a council of excluding them from one of the most lucrative events in the town’s history.

Wild Life music festival comes to Shoreham next weekend – and with it a plethora of top international DJs and 35,000 fans.

But taxi drivers say Adur Council has given no consideration to where firms should pick up and drop off revellers.

Sean Ridley, of Radio Cabs, said: “We asked for a taxi rank on March 21 but they’ve done nothing. In fact the council’s emergency planning officer said the request hadn’t even been passed on to planning.
“We pay licence fees to them, and part of that includes the provision of ranks. But there’s no plans for the festival. They’ve cut us out of the biggest earning trade in Adur’s living history.

“The other issue is that if you don’t put up taxi ranks then you invite unlicensed taxis and cabs, which is a public safety issue.” Amanda Penny, manager of Taxi Link in Southwick, said: “They’ve considered people who don’t live here with the shuttle buses, but an awful lot of local people are going who don’t know where or when they can get taxis from, or where they will be dropped off.
“There’ll be a lot of people milling around Shoreham looking for cabs. I’m incredibly worried. It will be a nightmare for people to get taxis. The garage lay-by opposite the airport would be ideal for a rank, but nothing’s been communicated.”

Adur Council said a dedicated space on Adur Recreation Ground would act as a drop-off point for both private hire and hackney carriage vehicles, and where hackney carriages could also collect customers.

A spokesman said all private hire and hackney carriage operators had been written to this week to outline the arrangements.He added: “The council has worked closely with the event organiser, SJM Concerts, to ensure that they meet or exceed the requirements laid out in licensing law.

“Establishing a temporary taxi rank would be a matter for the county council as the local Highway Authority – however finding a safe location would be extremely difficult since the site is bordered by the A27 on one side and the space-limited A259 on the other.

“With 100 buses ready to ferry customers away from the ground, and the provision of significant space on Adur Recreation Ground, the council is satisfied that the event organisers have made all reasonable provisions for the safety of their customers and will be working with SJM Concerts to raise awareness about the importance of choosing a correctly licensed taxi.”

For information about travelling to the festival go to


Organisers behind Wild Life recently confirmed 35,000 tickets had been snapped up within a week of going on sale.

The event looks to be one of the biggest for music lovers in the south east this year and will welcome a host of artists including Sam Smith, Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, Seth Troxler, Mark Ronson, Annie Mac, Julio Bashmore, Adam Beyer, Andy C, George Ezra and more.

Rob Ballantine, director of festival organisers SJM Concerts, told The Argus: “We’re thrilled to have sold out all the tickets, which hadn’t been on sale for even a week. It’s unbelievable.