Sticky situation for taxi drivers in Bradford
Authorities in Bradford have come down hard on taxis who aren’t displaying compulsory door stickers, with eight minicabs being forced off the road for their failure to comply.
The new rules, which stipulate that private hire taxis must display a sticker on their doors with the name of the taxi company on it and stated that they can only be pre-booked, were agreed just under a year ago.
Taxi firms were given until the end of 2012 to adopt the new measures, but Bradford Council extended that deadline until the end of January this year to give operators time to fit the new permanent stickers.
The new guidelines were a bid by the Council to make it clear to the public which company they are using and also that those private hire taxis which have ‘Pre booked only’ on them are not permitted to be flagged down.
However, the plans have met with stiff opposition with many taxi drivers in the city with over 350 signing a petition against the new rules.
They claim that the permanent decals will damage the paintwork on their minicabs and fitting them will impose more costs on them when margins are already squeezed. The drivers also argue that the rules won’t actually do much to solve the problem of flagging down private hire taxis.
To comply with the new rules, private hire taxis must:
* Have decals displayed on the side of their vehicle which must not exceed A3 size or be smaller than A5. They must be attached to each front door or each rear door.
* The decals must display the name of the operator of the private hire vehicle and contain the words ‘Private hire’ and ‘Pre-booking only’.
* All stickers and decals comply the advertising policy of the Council and get approval from the Council’s hackney carriage and private hire service.
Bradford Council’s fleet and licensing manager, Carol Stos, points out that the similar rules are enforce in other local authorities in the region. She also argues that the stickers the vehicles are forced to display are actually cheaper than magnetic alternatives.
Magnetics ones, she says, are more like to fall off, be stolen or simply left behind. With permanent stickers, there’s less chance of this and, of course, drivers are less likely to fall foul of the new rules and risk being taken off the road.
“The petition has caused confusion amongst the private hire trade through promulgation of factually incorrect information,” she said.
“In the interest of fairness, the licensing department therefore decided that as long as an approved door sticker was displayed, permanent or magnet, then enforcement action would not be taken until the petition was resolved at committee.