TAKEAWAY owners fear for their futures after a breakdown in their relationship with taxi firms.
For years, taxis have delivered meals at discount rates in return for the custom from those who eat out at curry houses.
But taxi drivers have now been frightened off by the fear of legal action.
The council has told taxi firms delivering food they must have insurance and stick to health and safety rules.
Saghir Hussain, of Ziggy’s, Carlton Street, Halifax, said he was stunned at the council intervention.
He said the arrangement had worked fine since 1982 and the issue had not been raised elsewhere.
“This is the first instance of its kind here in Halifax when all business are struggling,” he said.
“The council has opened a can of worms.”
He fears restaurants will close, not making enough money to run their own delivery service.
But Sultan Hussain, general secretary of Calderdale Private Hire Association, said the implications of carrying food had been made known and drivers didn’t want to put themselves at risk.
If taxis continued delivering food, many would face higher insurance.
He said the growth of the “compensation culture” had forced the issue and taxis were inappropriate for transporting food.
“What if a taxi driver gets lost and the food goes cold and someone gets food poisoning? Who are they going to sue?” he said.
“What if there is a matchstick or nail in the food?
“Food has serious implications now with the claim culture and this could be a national issue.
“Some things have to hurt people for the betterment of the community.
“Restaurants will have to get their own vehicles.”
Calderdale registration and licensing managing Sarah Richardson said: “Private-hire drivers expressed concerns about being asked to deliver takeaways and asked the council to prohibit the practice.
“We could not take this action as it does not contravene licensing conditions.
“Letters sent out confirmed this, but noted that drivers would need to be properly insured for these deliveries.”