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Drivers fear that taxis are becoming over-regulated

Taxi drivers in Bradford say they feel their livelihoods are being ‘targeted’ after new legislation was introduced by the city’s council.

A recent ruling that all private hire vehicles should have permanent decals or liveries on the side of their vehicles was slammed by some who claim the industry has become ‘over-regulated’.

Decals are the stickers that go on the side of the vehicle and display the name of the firm, telephone number and that it is a private hire vehicle which can only be pre-booked

Drivers say they aren’t happy with the permanent sticker’s arrangement because of the damage it can cause to vehicles.

Nadeem Ahmed, a taxi driver from Bradford who has had his licence for over 25 years said: “We have given our evidence to the council that the damage is extensive and it can cost drivers up to £1,000 to repair. This is a loss which the taxi trade will have to take on board.

“There are alternative ways which this can be resolved. Magnetic decals, for example, have worked fine. The only thing we have been told by the council is that in 2015 they changed their computer system and lost all the data.

“They effectively have no information and have not complied with the issue.

“As far as public safety is concerned, you have to prove it. You can’t just say it’s for public safety. How does it keep the public safe?”

Taxis in Bradford are already well marked up. They have decals on the side, window visors, licenses in the window and are ‘easily identifiable’ according to Nadeem.

He continued: “We also have a ring back service so that a customer can be texted or called.

“We are pre-booked, meaning a customer can expect a certain car from a certain company. When they do get the ring back text, they will get the details of the driver and the vehicle make and model. There’s no chance of anyone getting into the wrong car.”

Nadeem feels that the industry has become ‘over-regulated’.

He said: “The council are becoming more stringent and we are taking huge amounts of losses on vehicle depreciation because of issues like the sticky decal that destroys the car’s paintwork.

“We think the council should give taxis some leeway on this. We should be given a fair choice on this matter, especially because we are private hire vehicles.

“Most members of the public haven’t read the regulations that govern private hire vehicles. 21 new conditions have been brought up in the last seven months alone, which will make it even tougher for us to work.”