A STRING of local cab firms hoping to give transport giant Uber a run for its money have run into problems with a new branding idea.

Bradford-based businessman Zabeer Hussain wants to give four firms a unified look, with similar logos, but Bradford Council claims this could leave customers confused.

Mr Hussain is already the majority shareholder of Wrose Village, Eccleshill Premier and Shipley Central cab firms and is setting up a fourth operator in Manningham, called Roadwise Central.

Under an investment plan worth around £120,000, Mr Hussain wants to bring in a unified branding theme - already trialled at one firm - alongside new smartphone apps. He also hopes to use the Roadwise Central base as an overflow call centre and record-keeping office for all four operations.

The move would create 30 jobs on the phones alone, he said, as well as 40 to 50 new drivers’ roles.

But Mr Hussain has had to postpone the office’s opening twice, after spending months trying and failing to get permission to use similar branding across all four firms’ door stickers, known as decals.

Bradford Council, which manages the licensing of the taxi and private hire trade, claims the use of similar decals could confuse customers, who may not know who to approach if they have a complaint.

Mr Hussain said this shouldn’t matter, as they could resolve any complaints through the central office, which monitored where all cars were at all times.

He said: “We’re not here to put anybody’s life at risk, because it’s not worth it. Nothing is.”

Manager Asif Shah claimed the authority was standing in the way of the businesses’ development.

He said: “The Council have said time and time again, ‘Rather than complain about Uber, look at different, innovative ways to compete with them’.

“That’s exactly what we’re doing, but instead of helping us they’re hindering us.”

A spokesman for the Council said: “The Council’s approval criteria requires each company to have a distinctly different decal.

“This is important as it ensures the public can easily recognise a vehicle belongs to the company which they have booked with.

“Both of Mr Hussain’s applications were for four separate companies to use predominantly the same decal and as such they did not meet the required criteria and so could not be approved.”