Private Hire firm that only allows female drivers and female passengers denied licence on the ground
Glasgow City Council have thrown out a proposal to have a private hire firm which only uses female drivers and female passengers because councillors said it was “sexism” against men. Margo Welsh attempted to get an operators licence to start Rosy and Pink Cars, which she says their is a market for and came up with the concept after seeing the amount of sex attacks that are reported in the industry.
Welsh said: “there’s definitely a need for this. Loads of taxi companies are predominately male. It’s another option for women. “I spoke to my family who said do you want to be driving men around at night? I wanted to be taking grannies to bingo and kids to school, rather than a stag do.” Alex Wilson, licensing convener, said: “if it was the other way round we would be looking at discrimination against females. “The whole not picking up male passengers is a concern to me. I don’t think we should discriminate at all.” Councillor Robert Connelly added: “It is essentially sexism towards males. It doesn’t sit right with me.” Ms Welsh was hoping to use her tenement flat as a booking office and has vowed to not give up in her quest to her granted an operators licence. As reported in the Evening Times, Ms Welsh said: “I was a wee bit intimidated, I felt they were laughing, that my idea was ludicrous.” She went on to add that she doesn’t feel on cabbie concept is discriminatory towards men and stressed that she has spoken to many people about the idea, including beauticians, women at the supermarket and even firemen, one of which said he would rather his daughter catch a ride with a female driver.
Ms Welsh faced criticism from councillors for securing a private hire car licence herself, only not to use it or hand it back as required.
Bailie John Kane said: “You’ve not even bothered reading your terms and conditions.”Ms Welsh admitted that was an “oversight”, when she couldn’t afford the insurance.
The committee also questioned why the only passengers that could use the service were those of up to the age of 11.
They also pointed out that the model would not fit in with driver conditions which state no passengers should be refused a journey, apart from in certain circumstances such as when they’re too drunk. Ms Welsh replied to the questioning by saying: “There had to be a cut off point, I’ve got a son and when they get to high school age they can be boisterous. It was for the safety of drivers.” Lawyer Stephen McCaffrey, representing Ms Welsh disputed the committees concerns that conditions would be breached by adding that councillors seemed to dislike the concept itself.
He said: “I have appeared before many committees over the last ten years throughout the UK. The hearing this morning was the most hostile and dismissive I have ever been before.” “I accept that there may well be concerns about discrimination given it is female only app but felt the manner in which that was voiced and expressed was unprofessional and entirely inappropriate to say the least.” A Council spokesman said: “It is a standard practice for licensing applications to be scrutinised and robustly questioned by committee members, particularly if there are concerns.”
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