An Eastbourne woman has voiced her concerns after being turned away from taxis late at night for living ‘just around the corner’.
Catherine Wilkinson, who is a teacher, said she was turned away from taxis outside Eastbourne Railway Station in July, August and September.
She said, “I have got the train back late at night. On each occasion it was just past midnight.”
Miss Wilkinson added, “It is probably a five or six-minute drive and a 12-minute walk.
“I was told it was only around the corner. It is night and I am a female and on my own and it is past 12 o’clock at night.”
Miss Wilkisnon said the most recent incident was at the end of September.
The 26-year-old said, “He refused to take me home at 1am and I said, ‘I am a girl on my own. Please take me home.’”
The teacher said she eventually found a driver who agreed to take her home.
She added, “I should deserve to feel like I can get a taxi.
“What is particularly upsetting is by the time it got to the third time, I felt a bit anxious.”
She said, “There needs to be a collective response across communities, businesses and institutions in Eastbourne – including the police and council – to ensure the safety of women and girls late at night.
“This is an ever-increasing problem and not something we can shy away from any longer.
“It begins with catcalls from vans and staring incessantly at women going about their business in the day through to men following young women in the dark at night and subsequently attacking them. It all needs to stop.”
An Eastbourne Borough Council spokesperson said, “An investigation was undertaken that concerned an allegation against a driver and appropriate action was taken. We have updated the person making the complaint.
“We have also written to all hackney drivers in Eastbourne reminding them of their responsibilities when accepting fares and the need for vigilance and care where lone women and any vulnerable person are concerned, especially late at night.”