Taxi drivers could be banned from wearing shorts after they were classed ‘provocative or sexually revealing’. Proposals for a ban have been branded ‘pathetic, petty and vindictive’ by cabbies who say shorts mean they can work comfortably in the hot summer months. The new policy is being considered by councillors in Bath and North East Somerset next week, but drivers believe it could make people ‘more irate’.
Lloyd Cook from the Bath Spa Taxi Association said: ‘Banning shorts would just make it uncomfortable for all the drivers. ‘After the summer we 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 – that’s asking for problems. It’s hard enough for them in the first place.’ Drivers were already banned from wearing ripped or clothes with holes in, items with suggestive or offensive words, sports kit and tracksuits.
They appealed to be able to wear shorts in hot weather but a council officer said the clothing can vary widely in fit and length – and that ‘one person’s idea of an acceptable dress code can 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 – will the council be banning miniskirts as well?’ Another driver added: ‘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.’ The new policy will be considered by Bath and North East Somerset Council’s licensing committee next week.