A PETITION launched by taxi drivers against plans to close a busy city centre rank has received widespread public support.
More than 3000 signatures were amassed after Inverness Taxi Alliance (ITA) started a campaign against Highland Council’s proposal to scrap the stand on Castle Wynd as part of work to improve the look of the street.
A total of 3655 people have said they want the rank to stay, and ITA chairman Andrew MacDonald has now delivered the hefty bundle of names and comments to the council.
ITA said that over the past year it had had discussions with council officers, including city centre manager David Haas, over the plan to close Castle Wynd.
Several replacement options had been put forward by the council but after "thoughtful consideration" these were deemed unsatisfactory due to their locations, concerns over public safety, road traffic issues and general increase in travelling expense for the public.
Mr MacDonald said: "We started asking our customers over the past few months what they felt about the plans, and in most cases they did not know of the intentions of the council to close Castle Wynd.
"The public were so incensed by the closure plan that it prompted ITA to produce the petition for the public to voice their objections to Highland Council in the hope that their decision to close a historically well used and popular city centre taxi rank that is safe for everyone to use will be reversed."
The local authority says the rank is poorly lit and often holds 12 taxis instead of the four it is designed for.
But in previous discussions regular users of Castle Wynd have argued it is ideally placed to take passengers to both sides of the river without the need for taxis to make dangerous U-turns.
A proposal to have a taxi rank at Eastgate, outside M&S, has also not been well received by ITA.
It argues that much of the evening trade is at the other end of the High Street, from clubs and pubs such as Johnny Foxes, Gellions, Revolution and other bars at the top end of Church Street.