Taxi access to Birmingham’s New Street Station could be rationed in an attempt to relieve traffic chaos.
Council highways chiefs are talking to the police and Network Rail about restricting the number of black cabs able to enter the station at peak times.
The aim is to put an end to huge queues of up to 200 cabs attempting to get into New Street, causing severe congestion on nearby roads.
City assistant traffic manager Kevin Hicks said matters were so bad that traffic jams sometimes stretched back to the A38 Suffolk Street Queensway.
Mr Hicks told the transportation scrutiny committee that a long term solution could involve approving a maximum number of cabs permitted to enter the station during the busiest times, although nothing is likely to happen until the £600 million refurbishment of New Street is finished in 2014.
He added that although there are 300 taxi ranks in the city centre, drivers regard New Street as the best spot in Birmingham.
Demand is greatest first thing in the morning with cabbies jostling for position in an attempt to meet the 10.30am arrival from Euston – dubbed the “magic train” by taxi operators because of the number of wealthy passengers from London looking for a taxi.
Mr Hicks said: “The taxi trade sees the city centre, and New Street Station, as a honeypot particularly for journeys to the airport.”
Committee member Coun Kath Hartley (Lab Ladywood) said: “The situation is unacceptable with taxis queuing on both sides of the road and performing u-turns.
Coun Dennis Birbeck (Con Sutton New Hall) added: “It’s a jungle, every man and woman for themselves.
“This has got to be sorted out and it is a question of enforcement. We have got to start enforcing the rules.”
Cab driver Ray Beach, a former committee member of the Birmingham & Solihull Taxi Association, said the council “only has itself to blame” for issuing too many taxi licences over the years.
There are 1,400 licensed taxis in Birmingham and 5,500 licensed private hire vehicles.
Mr Beach added: “We told the council years ago to stop issuing licences, but they wouldn’t listen. If we can’t get into New Street Station, where else are we going to go for work?”