The Gloucester Business Improvement District (BID) have stepped in to fund the city’s taxi marshal scheme. Members of the BID board unanimously approved to grant £5000 to support taxi marshals in a meeting last month with Gloucester City Council contributing another £2,168. The presence of the highly visible marshals help ensure residents and visitors to Gloucester city centre on a Friday and Saturday night are made to feel safe, and to focus resources at the main weekend taxi rank outside GL1 Leisure Centre on Eastgate Street.

As Gloucester’s night time economy continues to thrive, the taxi marshals are just one of the schemes the BID is supporting to promote safety in the city centre. The marshals have been key in preventing potential incidents from erupting in queues between late night revellers as well as ensuring unlicensed taxis are not in operation.

The taxi marshals scheme was originally run with funding from the Gloucestershire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) until it expired in June last year. The Gloucester Licensed Victuallers Association (LVA), who represent the licensees of the city, agreed to pay for the scheme from July to October last year as all parties were keen to continue the great work established by the PCC. However, this was always to be a short-term option whilst a new backer was found.

The existence of the taxi marshals scheme alongside other initiatives including the BID’s City Protection Officers and Gloucester City Council’s Best Bar None Awards, all play a part in bidding for Purple Flag status. This is an accreditation that the council is working towards and would recognise Gloucester as a city centre that offers an entertaining, diverse, enjoyable, and most importantly, a safe night out.

Manager of Butlers and Gloucester BID board member, Justin Hudson, said: “We are delighted to be able to assist our vibrant night time economy by contributing towards the taxi marshals. It is a tried and tested, and now, requisite service to ensure that Gloucester’s night time economy continues to flourish.”

Councillor Jennie Watkins, cabinet member for Communities and Neighbourhoods at Gloucester City Council, said: “I am delighted that the Gloucester Business Improvement District have agreed to support the taxi marshals. It is vital that the scheme can continue as the marshals’ presence makes a big difference to members of the public getting home safely from the city centre and along Eastgate Street, especially on the busy payday weekends.”

The taxi marshals scheme is operated by J.A.K.K. Security in partnership with Gloucester BID, Gloucester City Council, Gloucester City Safe with support from the Gloucestershire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.