A taxi boss is calling for Council-endorsed signs to be displayed on private hire vehicles in the Bradford district, to stop drivers illegally picking up punters who flag them down in the street.

Billy Sheikh, acting chairman of Bingley Hackney Carriage Association, said the signs, which are already used by other councils, would make it clear to customers they would not be insured if they travelled in private hire vehicles not booked in advance.

Mr Sheikh said there were problems in Bingley with private hire drivers plying for trade outside pubs and bars, taking business from licensed hackney carriage drivers.

He said: “They are parking outside hotspots, touting for trade. Meanwhile we are sitting on the taxi rank waiting for trade that never arrives.

“When you get into an unbooked vehicle you are not insured. If you have permanent signage people are made aware of the conditions. If you get a scratch in our cars, you can claim.”

Raja Shakhawat Hussain, chairman of Bradford Private Hire Association, said Bradford Council needed to limit the number of licences issued to private hire drivers to make sure there was enough work available.

He said: “The penalties for picking people up who have not booked are very, very tough. When people are drunk they don’t know what kind of car they are getting into. They just jump into it.”

Councillor Ghazanfer Khaliq, the Council’s executive member for environment and sustainability, which includes hackney carriage licensing, said: “Anything we can do to make people safe, we would be more than happy to consider. Councillors are already looking into issues in relation to taxis.”

Bradford Council’s Hackney Carriage manager Carol Stos said: “We are aware of the concerns raised about the situation in Bingley and they are being addressed by our enforcement team.”

e-mail: hannah.baker@telegraphandargus.co.uk