Cab­bies an­gry at planned shorts ban

Western Daily Press - - News -

TAXI driv­ers could be banned from wear­ing shorts af­ter the cloth­ing was classed as “provoca­tive or sex­u­ally re­veal­ing”.

Pro­pos­als for the ban have been branded “pa­thetic, petty and vin­dic­tive” by cab­bies, who say shorts mean they can work com­fort­ably in the sum­mer heat.

Driv­ers were al­ready banned from wear­ing ripped cloth­ing, items with sug­ges­tive or of­fen­sive words, sports kit and track­suits.

The new pol­icy be­ing con­sid­ered by coun­cil­lors in Bath and North East Somerset next week will add to the list “any cloth­ing that could be deemed to be provoca­tive or sex­u­ally re­veal­ing” – in­clud­ing shorts and miniskirts.

Lloyd Cook, from the Bath Spa Taxi As­so­ci­a­tion, said: “Ban­ning shorts would just make it un­com­fort­able for all the driv­ers.

“Af­ter the sum­mer we’ve had it would just make peo­ple more irate. I don’t see shorts that come be­low the knee as a prob­lem. I’ve never seen a lady taxi driver in a miniskirt.”

Oth­ers said they had never seen a cabby sport­ing “provoca­tive or sex­u­ally re­veal­ing” cloth­ing.

Geoff Beer was frus­trated that the same rule would not ap­ply to Uber driv­ers, who “can do what they want, wear what they want”.

Driv­ers ap­pealed to be able to wear shorts in hot weather, but a coun­cil of­fi­cer said “one per­son’s idea of an ac­cept­able dress code could be very dif­fer­ent to an­other per­son’s”.

One cabby said: “We have re­cently ex­pe­ri­enced tem­per­a­tures in the mid to late 30s and of­ten have to sit in our ve­hi­cles on the taxi ranks for up to an hour at a time in the full sun. We can­not leave our ve­hi­cles to seek the shade as this is against coun­cil reg­u­la­tions, so wear­ing shorts is es­sen­tial.”

An­other driver said: “Not al­low­ing shorts af­ter this spell of weather is pa­thetic, petty and vin­dic­tive.”

The of­fi­cer re­sponded: “One driver’s idea of an ac­cept­able pair of shorts may be un­ac­cept­able to a per­son trav­el­ling in a li­censed ve­hi­cle and may make them feel un­com­fort­able. This is in­tended to pro­vide a stan­dard con­di­tion where no mem­ber of the pub­lic trav­el­ling in a li­censed ve­hi­cle is made to feel un­com­fort­able by a driver whose choice of shorts (or other cloth­ing) may be inap­pro­pri­ate and make them feel un­com­fort­able.

“The dress code, whilst sub­jec­tive in man­ner, is there to en­cour­age driv­ers to con­vey a pro­fes­sional ap­pear­ance, thereby im­prov­ing the con­fi­dence of the pub­lic in choos­ing li­censed ve­hi­cles as a pre­ferred form of trans­porta­tion.”

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