Festive season marks return of marshalls

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TAXI marshalls are returning to the borough to help festive revellers get home safely.

The marshalls will be operating at taxi rank queues in the busy seaside areas of Whitley Bay and Tynemouth assisting large queues of party-goers to get home quickly.

The scheme, funded by the North Tyneside Strategic Partnership, will operate at designated taxi ranks in South Parade and Front Street, from Thursday, December 20, through to New Year’s day.

Whitley Bay Neighbourhood Inspector Jim Gray said: “We’re pleased the taxi marshalls are making a welcome return to the coast. They manage the large queues we get at the end of the night, helping people stay calm and in good spirits.

“They work well alongside neighbourhood officers, members of the Pubwatch scheme and our Street Pastors who together help deliver a safe and enjoyable place for people to come and visit.”

Officers are increasing their foot patrols during the Christmas party season in Whitley Bay and Tynemouth in and around licensed premises. Police regularly carry out high propfile visits to pubs and clubs to reassure customers and staff.

North Shields Neighbourhood Inspector Geoff Cross said: “We know that most people who join a taxi queue after a night out at the coast are well behaved, but a small minority cause problems for others. If this does happen, the taxi marshalls can quickly call officers to deal with them.

“The presence of the taxi marshalls means officers can concentrate their efforts on a small minority who get involved in drink fuelled disorder and take action to quickly nip problems in the bud.”

Elected Mayor Linda Arkley, who chairs the North Tyneside Strategic Partnership, said: “I am extremely pleased we have been able to bring back the taxi marshals to North Tyneside’s coast.

“Since their introduction three years ago, there has been a lot of positive feedback from residents and taxi drivers.

“The marshals provide reassurance for the public, help ensure that only legitimate drivers are using the ranks and free the police to focus on other areas.”