A PENSIONER has called for traffic rule changes after a taxi driver refused to drive a few yards to pick him up after he suffered an angina attack.

Harold Chipchase, 89, was shopping in Darlington on Saturday when suffered the attack on High Row.

He managed to reach the statue of Joseph Pease, but could go no further.

Mr Chipchase said: "Two ladies came over and were kind enough to go to the taxi rank in Priestgate, just about 20 yards away, to ask them to pick me up because I couldn't move. But he told them he wasn't allowed to go over there. It was something about it being next to a bus stop."

The women helped Mr Chipchase to the taxi rank. He was taken home and then to hospital.

Mr Chipchase said: "I can't understand why he's not allowed to move 20 yards from the taxi rank. I was in agony and I think something could be done so that in an emergency the taxi could pick you up."

A Darlington Borough Council spokesman said: "A taxi on the Priestgate rank cannot turn right, and for a taxi to gain access to that spot it would have meant a fairly lengthy run around the one-way system.

"If the gentleman had been unwell, then an ambulance would probably have been the thing to call because, in fairness, taxi drivers aren't trained to deal with people who are ill."

He said the council is holding discussions to explore whether taxis could have access to the bus lane, enabling them to turn right from Priestgate