May 17, 2022, 14:30

    Bus driver, 57, sacked for ‘being too short’ given her job back after appeal

    Bus driver, 57, sacked for ‘being too short’ given her job back after appeal

    A woman who lost her job after a redesign of the vehicle meant she was unable to drive safely due to her height has been given her job back, the bus operator has said.

    Tracey Scholes, 57, who stands at 5ft tall (1.52m), had been a bus driver for 34 tears when a bus redesign left her unable to undertake her duties safely.

    Go North West’s changes, including moving the buses' wing mirrors, meant she could no longer “reach the pedals to drive” without a blind spot appearing.

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

    The mum-of-three made a desperate appeal for her job on January 11 and now the bus firm has said she has been reinstated in her public transport role.

    Tracey Scholes has been a bus driver for the past 34 years


    Tracey Scholes was sacked after a bus redesign left her unable to reach the pedals

    Mrs Scholes was offered a different role on the company's schools buses, which were fitted with more suitable mirrors – but the change would have meant a reduction in pay and hours worked.

    She turned down the offer and was given notice by the bus operator.

    The business claimed it had offered "numerous proposals" to keep her in the company – but she launched an appeal, which garnered support from several celebrities urging the company to keep her current pay and hours.

    More than 25,000 signed a petition calling for Mrs Scholes to be reinstated in her role and crowds of supporters gathered outside the Queens Road bus depot in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, where the appeal hearing was taking place.

    The bus firm said it was "glad" she accepted a deal to drive other buses.

    Go North West's HR director Scott Maynard said in a statement the company was "pleased" the "valued and long-serving driver" was to stay with Go North West "after she decided to accept an offer to drive different buses as per a proposal made in September".

    Many gathered outside Queens Road depot in Cheetham Hill in support of Mrs Scholes' appeal

    Manchester Evening News)

    Under the new deal, Mrs Scholes will start earlier to allow her to pick up a bus with wing mirrors of her preference.

    Her weekly hours and rate of pay will remain unchanged.

    Mr Maynard added: "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."

    He said the company "operates no height restrictions on recruitment, and has multiple drivers of the same height, or below, as Tracey".

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

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