CAMPAIGNERS have succeeded in their fight to put the brakes on plans for a new taxi office in Johnstone.

Renfrewshire Cab Company – the area’s largest private hire taxi company – had applied for the green light to open a booking office at No. 21 High Street.

However, the proposals attracted 663 objections, with concerns raised about the potential problems more taxis could cause in an already congested part of the town.

And, at a meeting of Renfrewshire Council’s regulatory functions board on Thursday, the application was refused.

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Tom Wallace, chairman of Johnstone Community Council, believes the decision was the right one.

He said: “We didn’t so much object as raise points of concern. We were concerned that’s a bad corner – there are cars parked right down to the edge of Dimity Street.

“You try to turn into that street and it’s like a single-way road, when it is in fact two-way.

"We were concerned that taxis parking would cause a nightmare at that corner.”

The Gazette: Tom Wallace Tom Wallace

There are currently two taxi firms operating in the town – Johnstone TOA and Alpha Taxis.

Mr Wallace emphasised the community council had not taken a stance against Renfrewshire Cab Company but rather the specific location in the High Street.

He added: “We don’t want to stop businesses in the town but that wasn’t a good placement for a taxi office.”

One driver from a rival firm said he fears Renfrewshire Cab Company will resurrect the plans before long.

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The 36-year-old cabbie, who is from Johnstone but asked not to be named, told The Gazette: “We are delighted with the decision and it’s great to see that the council listened to our concerns but we’re in no doubt that the applicant will be back soon with better lawyers.

“There’s no need for another booking office in Johnstone. It would only disrupt two firms that have worked in harmony here for 40 years.”

A spokesman for Renfrewshire Council said: “An application for a booking office licence in Johnstone was not approved, as the regulatory functions board found the location of the proposed premises was not suitable.”

Renfrewshire Cab Company declined to comment.

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