A Keighley taxi firm boss said he fears some drivers in the industry are leaving passengers unprotected by not taking out the correct insurance.

Stuart Hastings, who owns Metro Taxis, in Church Street, said those drivers breaking the rules are “giving the trade a bad name”.

“What they’re doing is dangerous,” he added. “It must be the taxi company proprietor’s responsibility to make sure their taxis and drivers are safe and properly insured.”

Mr Hastings claims this has been a problem for a long time, but had recently become more prevalent as some drivers try to dodge soaring insurance costs.

He alleges some drivers are obtaining cover notes from insurance brokers that wrongly state their vehicles are insured for commercial, private hire purposes.

Mr Hastings said the drivers then have their vehicles tested by Bradford Council, only to then carry on using standard, non-commercial insurance.

He added: “Because the cost of insurance has gone up so severely during the past few years, and taxi drivers are having to pay thousands of pounds, dishonesty has entered into it. It costs my company £3,000 per year to insure a car, but if one of these other drivers only uses ordinary car insurance instead, it could cost them just £300.

“This is something taxi company proprietors can control if they are held accountable for their drivers. A lot of them don’t think they are responsible – they think it’s their drivers’ problem.

“But we are licensed by the Council to make sure we’re providing safe and secure journeys, so I can’t understand why a proprietor would knowingly let these drivers carry on without the right insurance.

“We [at Metro Taxis] own most of our cars, but with the cars we use that are owned by the driver, we always check on their insurance and contact their broker to ask them for confirmation.”

A Bradford Council spokesman said: “The Council makes checks on insurance documents at the time vehicles are licensed.

“It then makes random checks thereafter to ensure drivers maintain the correct insurance. Any evidence of driving with unsatisfactory insurance is referred to the police and is a matter for them to investigate.”