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Bus Driver Who Was Sacked For ‘Being Too Short’ Gets Her Job Back After Appealing


Bus Driver Who Was Sacked For 'Being Too Short' Gets Her Job Back After AppealingA 57-year-old woman who was dismissed from her job as a bus driver for being “too short” to drive safely has been reinstated, the bus operator has said.

Tracey Scholes, one of Greater Manchester’s first female bus drivers, is 5ft (1.52m) tall and has been working as a bus driver for 34 years.

The woman expressed that Go North West Company changed its bus design, which meant she could no longer reach the pedals on the new model of bus used on her route, without a blind spot appearing when she leaned backwards to use the wing mirrors.

Read Also: Bus Driver Sacked ‘For Being Too Short’ After 34 Years Of Service

Tracey was forced to lean around a pillar to see these mirrors which meant she was unable to keep her feet on the pedals.

She was reportedly offered a different role on the company’s school buses, which were fitted with more suitable mirrors, but the change would have meant a reduction in pay and hours worked. Tracey turned down the offer and was given notice by the bus operator.

After raising concerns with her employer, she was initially suspended and later dismissed with 12 weeks’ notice.

The 57-year-old made a final appeal for her job on January 11 which garnered support from several celebrities urging the company to keep her current pay and hours.

More than 25,000 people signed a petition calling for Scholes to be reinstated and a crowd of supporters gathered outside the Queens Road bus depot in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, where the appeal hearing took place.

The bus firm has now reinstated her into her public transport role, saying it’s glad that Scholes would now gets to keep her job “after she decided to accept an offer to drive different buses as per a proposal made in September”.

Scholes had previously spoken of the emotional strain she suffered during the ordeal, and revealed that she had “put everything on hold financially” as she felt unable to plan for the future.

The widow and mother of three told BBC North West Tonight before the hearing;

I’ve never had a problem driving the vehicles in 34 years, but they’ve moved one of the mirrors on certain vehicles [ …] and it’s caused a blind spot for me.

Meanwhile, Scott Maynard, the firm’s group HR director, said in a statement that Scholes’ weekly hours and rate of pay would be the same on her new route, and that she would start earlier so she could pick out a bus with wing mirrors of her preference.

He stated;

We have said from the start that we wanted to keep Tracey and we are glad that she has changed her mind and decided to stay.

Maynard expressed that the company “operates no height restrictions on recruitment, and has multiple drivers of the same height, or below, as Tracey”.

He added;

It is categorically untrue that we would, or could, have threatened anybody with dismissal on grounds of height.

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