TAXI marshals will provide a reassuring presence for customers of Barnsley's night-time economy over Christmas.

Stationed at hackney carriage ranks at New Street (adjacent to Chicago Rock) and Midland Street, the marshals will help people visiting town centre pubs, bars and restaurants get home safely at the end of the evening.

Marshals will be on duty on the evenings of Friday, December 20, Sunday 22, Boxing Day, Saturday 28, and New Year’s Eve.

In addition, officers funded by the Barnsley branch of the Hackney Carriage Association will patrol the area around Queen Street and Eldon Street.

Cllr Charles Wraith, chairman of Barnsley’s General Licensing Board, said: "The marshals will be there to assist with any public safety issues that arise and ensure people get home safely.

"They will also monitor any incidents of illegal vehicles picking up passengers, and any suspect vehicles will be investigated by officers from Regulatory Services.

"If people feel safe using the hackney carriage ranks they will be encouraged to use the town centre and increase the night-time economy, benefiting not only the taxi trade, but pubs, bars and restaurants, too."