One of Britain’s largest bus operators has been accused of discrimination after telling heavyweight drivers to shed their spare tyres.
The tyres referred to being the rolls of fat round their midriffs, not the rubber ones that adorn their vehicles!
Apparently, the bus company Stagecoach fears the hefty drivers will break the seats.
Now it has sent letters to staff informing them that drivers who weigh over 20 stone will either be offered weight loss advice or a different job.
The firm said the health and safety limit was not set by Stagecoach but by vehicle manufacturers and applied to all transport companies.
A spokeswoman said the company had taken steps to remind drivers across the UK about the policy, which had always been in place.
“We take the health and safety of our people and our passengers very seriously,” she said.
“All bus operators have a duty of care to make sure these weight limits are adhered to and we have taken steps to remind all of our bus companies of the safe working load limits for the specific vehicles in our fleet.”
But transport manager for London bus company Beeline, Stewart Field, branded the policy discriminatory.
He said: “I wouldn’t put that on anyone. Sometimes it’s not down to lack of exercise. It could be a medical condition, like a thyroid problem.
“We put our drivers through rigorous and regular medical checks – this is enough.”
Mr Field added he did not believe weighing 20 stone would hinder the ability to drive.
Katherine Clarkson, National Accounts