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Bradford's cabbies get a smart new look
A large group of Bradford Hackney Carriage drivers have decided to start wearing uniforms as a way of portraying a better image of the city.
Seventy self-employed drivers who work from Bradford Interchange as Town Taxis will start wearing matching shirts and ties from Thursday morning.
Mohammed M Khan, the man behind the idea, says the drivers felt it was time that they started giving a more professional first impression of Bradford to people arriving at the Interchange via train and bus.
It is thought that the move will mark the first time in West Yorkshire that taxi drivers serving the public have adopted a uniform, and Mr Khan says all the drivers were happy to do so. It will include a white shirt, black tie and smart trousers, and items like baseball caps and traditional Asian clothing will no longer be permitted.
Mr Khan, manager of Town Taxis and a member of the Bradford Drivers Association, said word of the uniform has spread, and taxi groups as far afield as Glasgow and Edinburgh have asked for advice on adopting similar schemes.
He said: “We have a lot of business people, tourists and visitors coming into Bradford, so we want to promote the city in a professional way.
“The drivers can’t wait to start wearing the uniforms. They all want to do the best they can for where they work and live. We hope other drivers will follow. We’ve managed to sort all this in just a few weeks.”
He said that although he had nothing against the traditional Asian clothing many taxi drivers wear, he feels it is important they wore more neutral clothing. He said: “We want people to know that Bradford and the service isn’t just for the Asian community. When you’re dealing with the public you have to be neutral.
“If people dress more professionally then it means they will act more professionally on the road.”
Bradford-based clothing manufacturers were used to make the uniforms.
Coun Imran Hussain, responsible for taxis on Bradford Council, said: “Taxi drivers are some of the most hard-working people in our district and they provide a crucial front line service. They act as ambassadors for Bradford, and this is something the Council would very much welcome and support.”