Swansea taxi drivers "like a collection of tramp and scarecrow look-a-likes"
A CALL has gone out for a code of conduct and dress code to be introduced for taxi drivers - to stop them looking like "a collection of tramp/scarecrow look-a-likes".
Swansea resident Kelvin Hughes raised the issue after what he said was a bad experience with a cab in the city.
But cabbies and Swansea Council had defended taxi drivers in the county.
Mr Hughes said: “On crutches I caught a taxi: did the driver get off his backside to help? Of course not.
“People, tourists or business people arrive in Swansea for the first time and what do they see? A collection of tramp/scarecrow look-a-likes purporting to be taxi drivers.”
In the light of Swansea Bay’s bid to become the City of Culture in 2017, Mr Hughes called for a code of conduct and a dress code to smarten-up the image of taxi drivers.
But registered cabbies have rejected the accusation of slovenliness.
One driver, Andrew Bennett of Gorseinon's Phoenix Cabs, said helping people was part of the job.
Mr Bennett, who has been a taxi driver for 18 years, said: “I always make sure I look presentable as it provides people with a good opinion. I wear a polo shirt with my firm's name on it.
"Our job is dealing with the public and helping people is part and parcel of our job. If someone is struggling we make sure we help them."
He added: "A lot comes down to the driver’s personality – it’s in my nature to help someone out if they need assistance.”
A spokeswoman for Swansea Council said there were safeguards in place, and that the byelaws covering hackney carriages stated that drivers "must be suitably attired in suitable clean clothing" and their cabs must been clean, inside and out.