A FLEET of taxi drivers claim the rank has got so dark it is not safe for customers.

Lights at the rank and the nearby zebra crossing are broken leaving customers to try and negotiate along Southernhay opposite Basildon bus station.

Driver Mickey Guyll, 52, said public safety is being put at risk due to the council’s slow response to repair the lighting at the rank and the zebra crossings.

After informing Basildon Council’s head of environmental health first verbally, and writing an official complaint on October 23 to the council’s senior licensing officer, Mickey, from Billericay, was told by Basildon Council the complaint had been passed on to Essex County Council who are responsible for street lighting.

He told the Echo: “As a council tax payer, I would like to think Essex County Council would put those with disabilities at the forefront of budget spending and fix the lighting at the disabled shelter on the taxi rank.

“Even temporarily lighting would suffice until the lighting issues that arose with redevelopment of roads and footpaths on commencement of Essex County Council’s town centre rejuvenation.

“Essex County Council has a credibility problem with Basildon taxi drivers as we have been waiting nearly a year for taxi rank signs.”

The lighting issues have been affecting the two taxi shelters on the taxi rank, including the disabled shelter and the disabled access raised kerb

Within 80 metres of the taxi rank stretches there are three zebra crossings that have no lighting.

Mickey, who is also Chairman of the Billericay Taxi Proprietors Association, added: “Last week an old girl fell over because of how dark it was at the taxi shelter.

“Customers using a wheelchair needing easy access into a taxi from 4.30pm onwards, are in complete darkness now, rendering it hazardous for them.” A spokesman for Essex Highways, said: “Lights at the taxi shelters are not provided by Essex Highways, they are the responsibility of the building owner. Our street lighting engineer has checked the lights at the crossings and the Belisha beacons and has established there is a supply fault.”