at first there was a suggestion that it was an Elf and Safety matter.
The kindly overseers of Lothian Buses were concerned about the impact of an explosion of Santas driving their vehicles throughout December. What would happen if, God forbid, one of those long beards got tangled in a gear stick?
Then it became clear there were no such fears - even modest elf hats and Christmas pudding jumpers were on the banned list as well. No Christmas outfits for drivers - not even on the city’s celebrated Sleigh Drive - until December 19 is what the edict states.
Could it be that the city’s favourite bus company, after years of fantastic fund raising and festive fun, was finally turning into Scrooge? Of course not.
The new rules which have so annyoned some of the bus company’s most charitable staff are born out of the best of intentions. Lothian Buses is organising a company-wide fund raising effort for Guide Dogs Scotland in the week before Christmas. It is worried that individual drivers doing their own thing before then might dilute their efforts for this great cause.
The unfortunate repurcussion is that drivers who have established their own local traditions won’t be able to do what they have in the past. It’s a shame. Spontaneous actions like this are one of the things that passengers really appreciate and the staff involved enjoy doing them.
But the company has taken the view that the greater good is served by organising a single charity campaign which it hopes everyone will get behind. If the company is guilty of anything, ih has perhaps being a little heavy handed, and slow out of the blocks by not letting staff know about the new rules before the start of December.
Maybe the rules could be relaxed a little without causing any real harm. Either way, passengers and drivers are sure to get behind any fund raising on the fleet.