Strict rules on adverts carried on taxis and minicabs have been relaxed by Bradford Council to encourage CCTV systems to be fitted to the vehicles to help protect passengers and drivers.

Private hire firms will now be allowed to cover the entire bodywork of their cars with advertisements. Hackney Carriages will only have to keep the front door panels clear to display the city crest and green stripe.

In exchange, firms will have to commit to fitting CCTV systems in the vehicles within two years.

Previously, the Council had insisted CCTV was installed within a year and adverts were restricted to bonnets, back doors, back wing panels and boots. Bigger vehicles were only allowed them on bonnets, side panels on rear passenger doors and on a back panel.

The re-think has occurred because of the failure of the original policy to encourage take-up of CCTV.

No Hackney Carriage operators had applied for adverts since the guidelines were introduced in 2007. There has only been a limited response from private hire firms.

The Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee voted to adopt the revised policy yesterday.

Officers said CCTV could be installed in a vehicle from as little as £500 and hoped the new policy would give firms more time to generate advertising income to pay for equipment.

Committee member, Councillor Sajawal Hussain (Lab, City) said: “CCTV is essential. They should be installed for the safety of the drivers and, more importantly, the passengers.”

  • For more on this story see Friday's Telegraph & Argus