An article in the Manchester Evening News last week reported that Stagecoach Manchester drivers have been given a 23 stone weight limit for health and safety reasons.
From the article:
"(Stagecoach) says it would be extremely rare for any of the drivers in its fleet to exceed the limits.
But the ruling has been described as blatant discrimination by one driver, who claims he was ordered to 'go to Tesco' and get weighed.
The driver, who has asked not to be named, claims he was also told he could not get behind the wheel until he had shed some pounds. He said the letter advised drivers who are 20 stone to see their doctor and those over 23 stone not to drive the buses.
He said: "I've been a driver for years. It's so embarrassing to be called into the office and to be told to go to the local supermarket to get weighed. Then to be told I am too fat to drive a bus is ridiculous. They are just discriminating against people who are overweight."
We've managed to get hold of a scan of Stagecoach's letter which reveals that the driver seats on Optare Solos and Optare Versas is 20 stone, while Alexander Dennis vehicles have a 23 stone limit.
As you'll see, Stagecoach is actually dealing with the issue quite sensitively, offer drivers to be allocated vehicles they are safe to drive while the get in shape. That said, if drivers feel they are being treated badly there could be a problem with some of the company's line managers' approach to the issue.