Tracey Scholes: colleagues rally round ‘too short’ bus driver who is appealing her dismissal
A Manchester bus driver has told why she took a case for dismissal to final appeal after losing her job because she was too short to safely operate redesigned vehicles.
After 34 years of service, Tracey Scholes lost her job after Go North West brought in buses with the wing mirrors in a position that meant she could no longer drive the vehicles due to her height.
The bus company said it has attempted to resolve the situation with her, however Tracey said the proposed solution would involve a pay cut as it involves fewer hours.
Go North West changed the specification on some of its buses and that left Tracey physically unable to operate them because she is 5ft tall.
Tracey, who is a mum and a widow, said: “I want my job back, that’s all I want.”
So far over 27,000 have signed the petition calling for Tracey’s reinstatement and over a thousand people have written to the CEO Christian Schreyer calling on him to intervene.
What’s the background?
The 57-year-old has been a bus driver at the Queens Road depot in Manchester, for more than three decades. When she started her career in 1987, she was the first female bus driver to be employed.
The case of Tracey Scholes has sparked a massive outcry and attracted interest around the world with supporters from Unite out in force for her final appeal outside Queens Road Depot.
A Go North West spokesperson said: “Go-Ahead is committed to treating every one of its 27,000 colleagues with fairness, dignity and respect.
“With the support of Unite, new wing mirrors are being introduced to many UK buses for safety reasons, to avoid long-arm mirrors being snapped off through contact with tree branches and street furniture.
“Driving seats and mirrors on all our vehicles are adjustable to suit each individual’s stature. We have 13,000 bus drivers UK-wide of varying height, including a number who are five foot or below, and only one driver has raised a concern.
“Go North West has worked hard to find a solution for the individual concerned by offering alternative vehicles, routes and schedules at a protected rate of pay. These include alternatives with equivalent weekly hours. All our proposals have been turned down.
“We have sought a constructive dialogue on this issue and offered reasonable adjustments to working conditions. We regret the fact that our offers have been rejected.”