'We've had immense problems in Leeds': Stickers on Wakefield taxis could lead to attacks on cars, drivers' union says
Putting licensing stickers on taxis could lead to them being badly vandalised, the union representing cabbies in Wakefield has warned.
From the end of this month, all local taxi drivers will have to display a sticker on their doors, showing that they are licensed by Wakefield Council and who they work for.
The council believes the move will make passengers safer, especially those travelling late at night.
But the chairman of the Wakefield and District Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Association said that it could result in some members of the public attacking vehicles, "because it's more obvious" that they are taxis.
Abdul Rehman said drivers had mixed views on the idea and added that taxi firms will probably welcome the move because it is "free advertising".
But he said evidence from Leeds, where the policy has already been implemented, showed there had been a rise in attacks on taxis, with bricks and stones thrown at some vehicles as a result of displaying stickers.
Mr Rehman said: "Some people will like it, and some people won't. I've no personal views on it myself.
"But we've seen in Leeds that there's been increase in vehicles being damaged, because people can see that it's a taxi and they're being targeted.
"Drivers are obviously worried about the cost of that, because if that happens they will then be off work while the vehicle's being repaired and they will have to fork out for the cost of that repair as well.
"Obviously we can't say what's going to happen in Wakefield, but on the basis of what's happened in Leeds the problems have been immense. I hope it doesn't happen, but time will tell.
"There's pros and cons to everything."
The news that stickers will be compulsory for all local taxis was announced at Wakefield Council's licensing committee on Wednesday afternoon.
Committee chairman Coun Martyn Johnson said: "I think it will be really good for public safety, and people will know they’re getting a Wakefield vehicle.
"It’s a positive for public safety, especially with the night-time economy. People can come out of pubs, and clubs and restaurants, walk round the back of vehicle and see that it’s licensed."
Local Democracy Reporting Service