DRIVERS with convictions for serious criminal offences will never be allowed to have a taxi licence if new Bradford Council proposals are approved.

The local authority hopes to take the steps to improve security and safety of passengers in the city, along with councils in Calderdale, Leeds, Kirklees, Wakefield and York.

The policy will also look to reduce the number of penalty points a driver may have on their licence for motoring convictions.

Members of the public will be asked to have their say on the new legislation, which will be applied to both Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licensed drivers who have been convicted of offences.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council's Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “We are working closely with our neighbouring Local Authorities to ensure a common standard for drivers across West Yorkshire.

"We believe that the introduction of a new policy will provide greater confidence for those who use hackney carriage (Taxi) and private hire vehicles and will also ensure that our passengers are as safe as possible, which is the number one priority for Bradford Council.

Licensed Operators may contract work across Council boundaries and it is therefore important we all work to the same, or similar standards, when licensing drivers in order to protect the public."

Mazar Iqbal, chairman of Bradford's Hackney Carriage Owners and Drivers Association, said he agreed with some aspects of the changes.

He said: "If someone has a criminal record for something like rape or drug dealing, which are dangerous to the public, they should not be driving a taxi."

Mr Iqbal says he does not agree with the council's proposals to ban a driver from holding a taxi licence for five years if they are caught driving while using a mobile phone.

He said this penalty is more severe than the police hand out to other motorists and called on the council to re-think their plans.

He added: "If the council says someone cannot have a licence for five years because they are caught using a mobile phone, that's someone livelihood they are taking away.

"It's very dangerous and a strict procedure.

"I'm totally against that."

The online survey runs to Saturday, December 15 and can be found by visiting