A TAXI driver has aired his frustration with the public as the problem of people parking in taxi ranks across Barrow has spiralled out of control.

Dozens of taxi drivers who work in the Barrow area have had enough – and Craig Tyson, who has been a cabbie for nine years, says the issue has now become a serious health and safety concern with people going into the road to get into taxis.

He said: “We pay £239 a year for the privilege of having these taxi ranks but we are getting nothing out of it.

“We have been trying to speak to the council about this issue for the last three years but nothing has changed.

“When we ask members of the public to move out of the taxi ranks they refuse to budge and some are even giving us abuse.

“This has been going on for years and it is just getting harder and harder.

“Now we have the added pressure of the abuse. We don’t want to get shouted at.

“When you can’t get a parking spot in the taxi rank you have to drive round and round which brings about excess petrol and maintenance costs.

“At night time, when it is really bad, I have seen some near-misses where people are almost getting run over because they are getting into taxis in the middle of the road because cars have filled up the taxi rank. This will only get worse when everything starts opening up again.

“We need a bigger sign to make people aware it is a taxi rank they are parking in. Cornwallis Street taxi rank has been cut in half to appease the public.

“Council have told us previously that it is down to lack of funds and cutbacks in staff, but that is not a good enough excuse.”

Parking officers patrol the areas around Barrow between 9am and 5pm to try and cut out this behaviour, but outside these hours the issue is said to be a police matter.

A spokesman for Cumbria County Council said: “The council is aware of this issue and will increase patrols of taxi ranks during working hours to monitor the situation and take enforcement action against any and all vehicles parked illegally.”