Weather: Lothian Bus drivers swelter in uniforms

Picture: Kenny Smith

Picture: Kenny Smith

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GRUMBLING Lothian Buses drivers claim they are sweltering in their driver cabins – because they have to wear heavy double-lined trousers.

One employee said driving around in the “mobile greenhouses” has been unbearable over the past week. He said: “We all wish we could wear shorts but the bosses say it’s a no can do.”

The drivers are allowed to lose their ties and unbutton shirts to stay cooler during eight-hour shifts. But the double-lined trousers and collared shirts are still mandatory.

One driver, working the number 22 route to the Gyle Centre, said: “There’s no air conditioning in these buses. You’ve just got to grin and bear it.” Another, driving a number 33 vehicle, said: “To be honest the buses aren’t as up to date as they should be.”

Their plight is sure to chime with workers who have endured hot conditions all week.

With more muggy weather to come, Britain’s Trades Union Congress has called on the Health and Safety Executive to introduce a maximum legal working temperature. At present there isn’t one.

The TUC wants to see a maximum temperature of 30C – or 27C for those doing strenuous work – with employers asked to start thinking about cooling measures when the workplace temperature hits 24C. Workplace temperatures cannot legally fall below 16C.

A Lothian Buses spokesman said drivers have to be smart while greeting the public.

He said: “Our drivers are allowed to wear short sleeved shirts and go without a tie during the summer months. However, as the public face of Lothian Buses, they are still required to wear regulation work clothes.

“We haven’t received any requests regarding dress code, but the working conditions of our staff are always a priority. We would of course listen to any concerns and look to provide solutions wherever possible.”

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady, pictured, said: “Extreme heat can be just as harmful as extreme cold, and so long as there is no legal maximum working temperature, many of the UK’s workers are likely to be facing conditions that are not just personally unpleasant, but which are also likely to hit their productivity.”