Taxi drivers in Bradford will be taking part in a half day course to learn about the attractions and history of Bradford, to be able to act as ambassadors for the city, to their passengers.

Tourists and business visitors will not only gain a lift to their destination when in Bradford, but they will also have the opportunity to find out about the best places to eat and visit, as well as being educated about the history of Bradford.

The taxi drivers will also gain the knowledge to answer any questions about regeneration; such as when the Westfield shopping centre will open or how plans to redevelop the Odeon are progressing.

Drivers who pass a test at the end of the half-day course will be able to wear a special ambassador badge and display a sticker on their vehicle.

The pilot scheme, called CAB (City Ambassadors Bradford), is being run and paid for by networking group Bradford Breakthrough.  Chief executive of the group Colin Philpott said the benefits of this scheme will be that there will be a “Better first impression of the City and district, thereby benefitting business and visitor economy.”

He also said that it will benefit the taxi drivers as “They’ll be more likely to
get happy passengers to book with them again.”

Initially 24 city centre hackney carriage drivers will be invited to take the course, free of charge, in November.  If it proves a success it will also extend to taxi drivers across the district, including those from private hire companies.

Safdar Zaman, a taxi driver from a private hire company, said “This seems like a great idea, I already enjoy chatting to my passengers and this will help to educate me more about Bradford so that I have extra knowledge to give to the customers.”

Bradford Council is backing the new initiative, saying it should provide a boost to the city. Andthe council’s licensing team is identifying the initial 24 cabbies to take part in the course.