COWDENBEATH taxi drivers are this week relieved that they will have a rank in the town, as the refurbishment of the town’s High Street gathers pace.

On Friday the drivers had heard that their current rank, at the Green Square, was to go as part of the £700,000 plus project to upgrade what will be the main attraction of the new look retail hub.

One of Cowdenbeath’s long established taxi operators, Davie Buckle, said on Friday: “We have heard that our current rank is set to go as the Green Square is extended and there is no alternative site for us in the plans.”

But on Monday the Fife Council official who has been steering the SUSTRANS project to rejuvenate the High Street, said, that while the upgrading of the Square was going on the taxi rank would return to the south end, outside the Poundstretchers building.

Andrew Walker commented: “Taxi services are important to the town and public and we must ensure that the drivers have a suitable rank facility.

“When the Green Square upgrade starts the rank will move up to Poundstretchers temporarily at this stage, and we can see how this works in the scheme of things.”

Local Councillor, Darren Watt, has been speaking to the drivers and said: “I am very concerned for the taxi drivers and their livelihoods, both in the short-term and long-term.

“We may see a drop in business up and down the High Street as improvement works progress and this will inevitably have an effect on taxis. It has been proposed the rank will be moved up towards to Poundstretchers when work on the Green Square begins, however, whether it remains there for the foreseeable future is uncertain.

“I am currently in discussions with Fife Council officers to ensure a taxi rank in the town, particularly for elderly and disabled visitors. I will do everything I can to support the drivers throughout the works and thereafter.” Davie Buckle was happier this week than on Friday, and commented: “While we we don’t know exactly is going to happen, it certainly suggests that we are not going to be forgotten. I think all the drivers would welcome a return to the Poundstretchers rank.”