Bradford cab firms vow to boycott Ravenscliffe if another driver is attacked

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Tanveer Hussain (right) and his cousin Adnan Azeen with a taxi that was attacked Tanveer Hussain (right) and his cousin Adnan Azeen with a taxi that was attacked

Local cab companies have issued a final warning that they will stop sending vehicles to the Ravenscliffe estate if another of their drivers is attacked there.

Yesterday representatives from eight private hire companies serving the BD2 area decided to hold off on a possible boycott of the estate over Christmas and the New Year. But they did warn that one is imminent if more is not done to make life safer for drivers.

MP David Ward and local councillors also attended the meeting at the headquarters of Eccleshill Premier Cars, where they heard that many drivers were afraid of travelling to the area at night.

Last Saturday there were three attacks on taxi drivers in the space of a few hours. Four people have been arrested for one incident.

Drivers say this was not just an isolated night of violence and that their vehicles are regularly pelted with stones by young people.

Wajid Rafiq, owner of Eccleshill Premier Cars, said: “To be honest it’s getting scary for my drivers and other firm’s drivers. This wasn’t just a one-off, this has been happening for years. Drivers hear what happened last Saturday and they won’t want to go to that area. I feel sorry for them, it’s not safe.

“We need more police in that area. Kids are throwing stones at cars every day. Why would anyone want to go there if they know they are likely to get their windows smashed? The parents are obviously not telling their kids that this is wrong. If this happens again we boycott Ravenscliffe.”

Companies complained that reports to police had not been followed up and that very little had been done by Bradford Council to deal with violence.

Ilyas Hussain, of Power Cars, said that 99 per cent of his customers were from Ravenscliffe, and so a boycott would severely harm his trade.

Councillor Mohammed Shafiq said: “It is sad that we are sat here today to discuss the safety of our private hire drivers when they are doing a wonderful job.

“I am extremely concerned that another attack might take place and that we won’t be hearing that someone has been hurt, but that his life has been lost. Your priority must be the safety of your drivers. It is just a minority of people who put your lives at risk.”

The group agreed to hold a meeting with the local community to raise their concerns, and will shortly be sending out leaflets to householders in Ravenscliffe saying a boycott is inevitable if violence continues.

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