Walkers step on toes

The Sun-Herald

Sunday 22 September 1996
By Alex Mitchell

The Pedestrian Council of Australia, the voice of the walking class, has scored a significant victory in its very first week of activities.

Chief executive Harold Scruby wrote a detailed report on poor pedestrian safety at Sydney Airport's domestic terminal and sent it to the Federal Airports Corporation. He complained about taxis parking in the no-parking zone just before the pedestrian crossing outside the Qantas terminal, and on the crossing.

"Taxis stop and set-down passengers in the no-stopping zone, on the pedestrian zone and sometimes while double and triple parked," he said. "This is an accident waiting to happen."

Scruby also claimed airport parking officers were encouraged to "lay off" cab drivers and he accused them of employing an "eyes wide shut" attitude.

But Alan Mulgrew, Federal Airports Corporation general manager at Kingsford Smith, rejected the criticism, saying: "The airport reiterates that leniency towards taxi drivers is not sanctioned."

Acknowledging the need to improve pedestrian safety, Mulgrew said a raised pedestrian crossing would be built outside the Qantas terminal.

Scruby is planning a meeting with the Transport Department to discuss other concerns about the taxi industry. Don't waste your time with the department, Harold. Go and see Reginald Kermode.

He is president of the NSW Taxi Council, chairman of the NSW Taxi Industry Association, chairman and managing director of Taxis Combined, chairman and managing director of Cabcharge, chairman and managing director of Cabcharge (Investments) Pty Ltd, the company managing Cabcharge's investments, and chairman and managing director of Transcard (Australia) Pty Ltd, the company introducing EFTPOS to Taxis Combined.