More than 25,000 people sign petition to reinstate female bus driver sacked for being ‘too short’
Tracey Scholes had driven buses across Manchester for over three decades before she lost her job
More than 25,000 people have signed a petition in support of a five-foot tall bus driver who was sacked because she was ‘not tall enough’ to use the wing mirrors safely.
Fifty-seven-year-old Tracey Scholes has driven buses for thirty-four years and was one of the first female bus drivers in Manchester. However, when Go North West changed the model of bus used on her route, the mother-of-three was found to lack the ‘capability’ to drive the vehicles safely.
The position of the new buses’ wing mirrors meant that Tracey, from Heywood, had to lean around a pillar to see them, meaning she could not keep her feet safely on the pedals.
Because of this, Tracey was offered a different position driving the company’s school buses, though it would mean a reduction in hours worked and pay.
The company also offered the bus driver her current pay rate but with reduced hours, which meant she would still be losing around £230 a month, the Unite union said. She turned down both positions and was subsequently given her notice.
Tracey’s story was quick to go viral and has since gained the support of celebrities including actors Maxine Peake, Julie Hesmondhalgh and James Quinn. And now, a petition set up in support of Tracey has gained a massive 26,784 signatures at the time of writing.
The petition’s objective states that it is calling on the company ‘to reinstate Tracey Scholes with no loss of pay/no loss of hours and show that ‘Go-Ahead Group’ values loyal key workers’.
The description reads: “Tracey Scholes has been a bus driver at the Queens Road depot for the past 34 years. When Tracey started her journey as a bus driver in 1987 she was the first female bus driver employed at the Queens Road depot.
“The industry back then was very male dominated and a woman taking a driving position was challenging to say the least however Tracey took the challenge and has had the full respect of all her colleagues.
“Tracey is a hardworking, loved and valued member of the NW/5/4 Branch and the Queens Road family who deserves to be commended for her years of service to the traveling public of Greater Manchester.”
Tracey has described the support as ‘overwhelming’, with her telling The Guardian: “I’ve got three children, I’m a widow, and I’ve got a mortgage to pay. I can’t take a pay cut.
“When I started that job thirty-four years ago, I could drive everything in that depot. And since they’ve done this, I can’t drive that bus now.
“If a bicycle or pedestrian was to walk up the near side of the vehicle … I can’t see that, it blocks my vision, and that’s not safe.”
Go North West has since addressed the incident, saying in a statement: “Tracey was a valued member of our team at Go North West and we are extremely sorry to see her go. The design of the mirrors on our buses was agreed after consultation with Unite some time ago. All our other drivers of similar height to Tracey are able to view them safely.
“When Tracey raised a concern with us, we made numerous proposals to accommodate her, including offering to put her on different routes, and different types of buses. Unfortunately, all our suggestions were rejected.
“Dedicated, experienced, hardworking bus drivers are difficult to find and so we would never act lightly in a situation like this. We are sorry that we were left with no choice but to bring this driver’s employment to an end.”
For more information and to pledge your support, visit the petition here.
The hunt for the UK’s messiest car is on with a £200 prize for the winner
I’m lost for words at some of these!
Drivers across the country have been sharing pictures of their messy car interiors to win a competition.
The shameless and grubby lot have been submitting their entries for a chance to win a £200 Amazon voucher. It is part of a nationwide search to find the UK’s messiest car owner by vehicle service provider, ATS Euromaster.
Photographs show dirty seats, footwells piled with litter, boxes, empty packets of food and drinks, and used face masks — you might want to don some clean PPE to look at these!
Here is a selection of the best entries so far, but the competition remains open until June 11th.
Mel Crumpton, 57, from Benfleet shared this chaotic photo of litter overflowing from the passenger footwell in her Ford Fiesta.
Mel might need more than a few bin bags to clear this mess.
Rachel Hughes, 38, from Malmesbury submitted this photo of dirt and rubbish covering the back of her BMW 320D.
The poor passengers will be wishing they took the bus instead.
Satvinder Billa, 42, from Leicester shared how the front passenger area has a second purpose in this Honda Jazz.
I’ve seen tidier looking dustbins to be honest.
Helena Sperring, 30, from Shropshire revealed she likes to use her Peugeot 107 as extra storage.
Maybe she just doesn’t have room for it anywhere else?
Alison Wilkie, 56, from Harleston also uses the footwell in her Toyota Yaris as a rubbish bin.
Face masks and rubber gloves! Well, at least this mess is contained to just one footwell.
If you have a pigsty of a car, and would like to win £200 in Amazon vouchers, you can can enter the competition by clicking here.
Mars Bars to trial new paper wrappers from today
It’s available in the paper packaging at Tesco stores from today
Mars Bars will change to new paper wrappers for a trial period in Tesco stores from today (Tuesday May 30th).
Mars Incorporated confirmed switching from its traditional plastic wrapping to an environmentally-friendly paper packaging for a trial run.
The chocolate bars will be available in Tesco for a limited time while the company explores different packaging options in a move to become more Sustainable in a Generation plan.
Mars is investing hundreds of millions of pounds to ensure it meets its goal of reducing use of virgin plastics by a third in the short-term.
This includes using less plastic, recycled plastic and plastic alternatives. Once the pilot is over, it said it will use what it has learnt to inform other trials.
Richard Sutherland-Moore, packaging expert at Mars Wrigley UK’s research and development centre in Slough, said: “We are exploring different types of alternative packaging solutions for our confectionery products.
“For Mars bar, the challenge was to find the right paper packaging solution with an adequate level of barrier properties to protect the chocolate whilst guaranteeing the food safety, quality and integrity of the product to prevent food waste.”
Adam Grant, general manager at Mars Wrigley UK, said: “With our Mars bar pilot project, we are taking a big step to see how paper-based packaging works in everyday life.
“From the test, we will derive insights for our sustainable packaging strategy.
“While challenges may impact the pace of progress towards our vision, we at Mars Incorporated are committed to scaling up viable solutions where recycling options exist, and to test, learn, partner and advocate where they don’t.”
Piers Morgan and TikToker who went in stranger’s homes get into heated argument live on air
‘It was a trend. I just done it for a trend’
Piers Morgan and a TikTok prankster got into a heated argument during an interview live on air.
The TikToker known as ‘Mizzy’ called Piers Morgan a ‘moron’ during the bizarre and heated interview on the Piers Morgan Uncensored show, on Wednesday May 14th — just hours after his sentencing.
Mizzy — real name Bacari-Bronze O’Garro — and Morgan got into a spat while live in the studio. As the pair continued to interrupt each other throughout, Morgan listed the numerous extreme ‘moronic’ pranks O’Garro has carried out.
O’Garro is the person behind a series of notorious viral videos including stealing a woman’s dog, ripping up library books and jumping into strangers’ cars.
The 18-year-old was also said to have put a family ‘at risk’ by walking into their home pretending he was trying to find a study group, a court heard.
When Morgan asked why he would choose to cause ‘so much alarm and distress to so many people’, O’Garro replied: “This whole public uproar just makes me laugh because people are getting hurt over something that didn’t happen to them and that’s how I see it as.”
Morgan went on: “You go up and take a dog from an elderly woman, you leapfrog over the top of an orthodox Jewish man standing at the side of the road minding his business.
“You go up to women in the street and say, ‘do you want to die?’”
At one point the Talk TV presenter then asked: “A lot of the stuff that you do could have consequences far more serious but you don’t care do you, as long as you get a laugh?”
O’Garro replied: “Of course I care… I have remorse.” On why he pulled the pranks for social media, he said: “It was a trend. I just done it for a trend.” He then said he is his ‘own person’ and ‘I am legally an adult now so I can do what I want’.
The pair called each other ‘idiots’, and Morgan ended the interview by saying: “You’re just a complete moron.” Adding: “For the record, he wasn’t paid for this.”
O’Garro appeared at Thames Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (May 24th) and admitted failing to comply with a community protection notice. He was fined £200 and will have to pay an £80 surcharge with £85 in prosecution costs.
The teenager, from Hackney, east London, was also issued with a criminal behaviour order, for a period of two years, which means he can never upload a video again without the permission of all those appearing in it.
The CBO also prohibits him from ‘trespassing into any private property, including residential homes, business properties, school and retail outlets’, and ‘attending Westfield Stratford City.’
Detective Chief Superintendent James Conway said: “The CBO issued is a powerful measure designed to prevent behaviour which has caused alarm and distress to our communities.
“If the conditions are breached, at any point over the two year period, a custodial sentence can result.”