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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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Stagecoach inquiry after Cumbrian driver’s 'paying cattle' jibe at passengers

An investigation has been launched by the Stagecoach bus company after a driver described passengers in Carlisle as “paying cattle”.

Dave Taylor made the comments on his Facebook page, telling friends that he was looking forward to going back to work, but adding: “Am sure that after a couple of hours dealing with the paying cattle in Carlisle I’ll be wanting another week off.”

The comment brought a mixed reaction from bus travellers in the city yesterday but most branded it offensive.

A Stagecoach spokeswoman confirmed that an investigation has been launched to confirm whether or not the author of the comments was an employee of the company.

On Market Street in Carlisle city centre this week, the people waiting for buses were far from impressed.

Maggie Maskall, 53, from Stanwix, said: “It’s not very nice and it’s not acceptable.”

Jean Trotter 64, from Longtown, said: “It’s not nice. They shouldn’t be in that job if they can’t deal with the public.”

Another passenger said: “We are the cattle who are paying his wages.”

Other passengers dismissed the comment as harmless banter. “Everybody feels like that now and again,” said Gary Skinner, 41, of Aspatria.

The Stagecoach spokeswoman said: “We have a social networking policy which all employees are expected to adhere to.

“The use of the terminology used is totally unacceptable to us.

“We view such matters very seriously and will take action up to dismissal where proven.”

The firm’s operations manager, Fraser Smith, added: “This reference is very unfortunate and we do not condone such comments, which do not reflect our position.

“We value our customers and know that we would be nothing without them. Our business is all about people.”

He said that the investigation could potentially lead to disciplinary action if an employee is shown to have been the author of the comments.

Mr Taylor’s Facebook profile says that he went to Netherhall School in Maryport and lives in Dearham. It also has references to his employment at Stagecoach.

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