A popular service that helps thousands of Wolverhampton revellers get home safely on busy weekend nights is being extended for another year.

Despite recent media reports suggesting the council's Taxi Marshal scheme would end next month, funding from licensing income has been secured to ensure it continues from April 2014.

The marshals will continue to operate from a Hackney Carriage rank in Market Street on the busy Friday and Saturday nights between 12.30am and until 4.30am the following morning.

Marshals assist revellers to get cabs while helping ease demand for taxis. They provide a reassurance for both taxi drivers and passengers and help maintain compliance with licensing conditions.

Last year the scheme assisted more than 40,000 people, while police statistics showed a drop in crime in the area of around 50% compared with the previous year providing further reassurance for visitors to the city being able to get home safely.

The service was reintroduced in 2012 as part of the measures to support the regeneration of the city centre. It had previously operated in the city centre between 2006 and 2008.

Councillor Peter Bilson, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Prosperity, said: "This service has proved hugely popular both with visitors to our city and the taxi trade itself.

"The marshals help to create a welcoming atmosphere for visitors to our city centre.

"We have identified a different funding stream to ensure the marshals will continue to operate in Wolverhampton from April 2014."

"What's even more pleasing is that we have managed to ensure taxi drivers will continue to benefit from the marshals without seeing an increase in their licensing fees."

Parminder Singh Sekhon, Chairman of the Wolverhampton Taxi Owners Association, said: "This is fantastic news for the city and we are delighted the scheme has been extended for another year.

"Marshals encourage the travelling public to use proper licensed carriages, with regulated fares, and ensure they get taxis safely and in good time."

  • released: Thursday 20 March, 2014