The City of Sydney will boost safety at a Kings Cross taxi rank that is considered one of the city’s biggest late-night transport bottlenecks.
The Bayswater Road taxi rank is among Sydney’s busiest after dark, with more than 450 taxis passing through between 9pm and 6am on Saturday nights, and queues up to 50 metres long as people try to get home after a night out.
“At closing time, public transport is still not able to cope and people need to get home – which means large numbers looking for a taxi,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“The combination of alcohol and long waiting times at taxi ranks is a volatile mix, and frustration can easily boil over into fights and other anti-social behaviour.
“These improvements, including a CCTV camera linked to the City’s 24 hour monitoring system, should make passengers feel safer as they wait in line, and drivers will feel more secure about picking people up from the rank due to the improved safety measures.”
The upgrade is being funded by a $200,000 grant from the Federal Government under its Safer Suburbs Program, after the City consulted with Roads and Maritime Services, NSW Police, the NSW Taxi Council and the Kings Cross Liquor Accord on the application.
- CCTV security camera at the Bayswater Road taxi rank;
- Brighter, environmentally-friendly lighting along Bayswater Road, including the taxi rank; and
- New signs for the taxi rank, including an illuminated sign making the rank easier to find.
The project builds on recent work by the City and Transport for NSW, including bollards with chain links to stop people cutting the line, and pre-paid taxi fares assisted by security guards.
Poor lighting in busy late-night areas contributes to conditions that can lead to anti-social behaviour and crime.
The lighting upgrade responds to feedback that existing street lighting on Bayswater Road near the taxi rank is obscured by trees, making it hard for people to tell where the queue starts and leading to conflicts.
Feedback from the NSW Taxi Drivers Association is that some drivers avoid the Bayswater Road taxi rank because it is too dark to see potential passengers before they get into the car. Drivers have asked for better lighting and CCTV at the rank.
The City has a network of 87 security cameras in the city, including nine in Kings Cross monitoring Bayswater Road and the Darlinghurst Road strip.
The City’s ongoing Safe City program is designed to improve people’s perception of safety, especially at night. Measures include alcohol-free zones, night-time Precinct Ambassadors and temporary toilets, better lighting of under-used spaces and neighbourhood barbeques.
The City is working closely with NSW Police, licensing and transport agencies, licensed premises operators, businesses and residents to address concerns about anti-social behaviour in late-night areas such as Kings Cross and George Street.
The City will now begin detailed planning for the Bayswater Road improvements, with installation likely to start in early 2014.
For more information, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Rohan Sullivan, phone 02 9246 7298 or 0414 617 086, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Jonathon Larkin on 0477 310 149 or email@example.com