Eight private hire vehicles were seen stopping on double yellow lines in just one hour on a Bradford street – and it may surprise some people to hear that they were doing nothing wrong!

The Telegraph & Argus investigated the issue after a concerned reader raised concerns about cabbies pulling over on double yellows in Bradford city centre to pick up or drop off passengers.

"Surely action should be taken to stop this parking on double yellows. It's happening all the time on Vicar Lane and it's seems dangerous to me," said the reader.

The T&A asked for clarity from Bradford Council after eight mini cabs were seen collecting or dropping off passengers on yellow lines in Vicar Lane, in Bradford, between 8.30am and 9.30am on one day.

But while many people believe the manoeuvre is unlawful, it turns out drivers are fully able to do this.

Both the chairman of the Private Hire Operators Association for Drivers and Operators, Nadeem Iqbal, and Ajas Ahmed, manager and driver for Jenny’s Private Hire, based in Halifax Road, say they have been given the nod by council wardens to drop off and pick up passengers on double yellow lines ‘as long as they are quick’.

Mr Iqbal said: “We have checked it out with the wardens and they have said as long as we are picking up people who are already waiting there and take less than a minute, it is okay. It is regarded as a ‘grey area’ but we have checked.

“We regularly remind drivers not to wait on double yellows and that if they do and get a ticket it is them who have to pay.”

Mr Ahmed added: “I have spoken to traffic wardens and even at licensing committee and have been told we can stop briefly on yellow lines as long as we are not waiting for pick-ups.

“For instance, if we get a call for the job centre and the person is still inside, we can’t wait outside. But if he is standing out on the pavement we can stop and pick him up.”

A spokesman from Bradford Council said: “Our parking enforcement wardens are correct in their advice to private hire drivers.

“There is an exemption on yellow lines for boarding and alighting, however, you cannot wait. Bradford Council encourages everyone to park responsibly and does not condone anyone who fails to comply with parking restrictions. Issues can be reported to our parking enforcement team by contacting them on email at parkingissues@bradford.gov.uk”

The Highway Code in relation to road markings and waiting and parking rules states that waiting restrictions indicated by yellow lines apply to the carriageway, pavement and verge. You may stop on these restrictions while passengers board or alight, to load or unload unless there are also loading restrictions indicated by vertical lines on the kerb and additional signage. Double yellow lines indicate a prohibition of waiting at any time even if there are no upright signs. Single Yellow Lines will have signs displaying the times at which the restrictions apply. If no days are shown on the signs, the restrictions are in force every day including Sundays and Bank Holidays.

The council added that the Licensing Service would not condone drivers waiting or parking illegally when picking up or dropping off passengers. Should such complaints be submitted then officers would investigate and take appropriate action.

Mr Iqbal added that given the extensive double yellow lines throughout the city, he had asked the council if it was possible to create ‘pick-up points’ in some of the areas which could be patrolled by wardens to ensure they were used for that purpose.

But the council said this could encourage ranking or drivers ‘plotting/waiting for bookings in these areas’.

The council was also approached about hackney carriages (taxis) parking on restricted areas in Drake Street.

A spokesman said: “Taxis are not exempt from parking restrictions on Drake Street. Complaints of this nature should be brought to the attention of Civil Enforcement Officers so that they may addressed appropriately.”

He added that Bradford Council has a limit to the number of Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licences. This limit is reviewed by means of an independently commissioned Unmet Demand Survey every three years. The Council has a limit of 222 Hackney Carriage Vehicles, a reduction from 225 from the previous unmet demand in 2018/19.