Taxi drivers eager for new signs directing people to their Northampton rail station rank will have to wait for a new clock to be installed first, London Midland has said.
Exasperated Hackney carriage drivers contacted the Chron two weeks ago to complain that passengers were wandering into town looking for black cabs because there was no clear signage at the front entrance, depriving them of fares.
London Midland have now revealed that the installation of the large internal signs is being delayed by the delivery of a station clock, which is still missing, seven months after the station it opened to the public.
A spokesman said: “We realised the taxi signage was inadequate straight away and have ordered some more for passengers leaving by the front of the station.
“However we do not want to install that until the clock has been put in place.”
Asked when the company first realised the train station needed a large clock, the spokesman said it was on the first day of opening, January 12, which was the “first chance to look at the station from the passenger’s point of view.”
It is a particularly high-specification clock, he added, which accounted for the seven month delay so far. No timescale had been drawn up for the new signs or clock, the company said.
David Mackintosh, the Northampton South MP, has written to London Midland over the signage delays.
He said: “It is important that we have proper signage at the station for the taxi drivers who operate from the railway station and the many passengers visiting our town so they know where to get taxis from.
“I raised the problem with London Midland last week and am waiting for them to respond. I also discussed the matter at the last meeting of Northampton Rail Users Group and I hope the situation will be resolved soon.”
Meanwhile, taxi drivers have again resorted to sticking homemade directional signs to posts at the bottom of the main station steps.
One driver said: “They are only ever there for a few hours then a London Midland member of staff will take them away again.
“You’d have thought that, since they can’t organise themselves to put up a sign at a £20 million station, they’d let someone else do it for them.”