British cabbies told to shed flab

Monday, December 20, 2010

LONDON - Flabby cabbies in Britain have been asked to shed their bulging tummies by officials who are worried they give tourists the wrong image.

Taxi drivers in Preston, Lancashire, have been told to “smarten up” and have been banned from wearing football shirts, shell suits and flip-flops at work.

They have even been told not to linger around chatting to each other while parked and waiting for fares because “they might make the place look shabby”, The Daily Express reported.

Drivers have been sent letters by the health department inviting them to free “Don’t Sit, Get Fit” sessions at a football stadium.

They will also be given tips on how to quit smoking.

Cabbie Mark Harrison, 39, was taken to court for smoking in his cab. He was fined 200 pounds as cabs are smoke-free places under the health laws.

The National Taxi Drivers Association, however, has said it can’t understand why the cabbies are being treated so harshly.

“The ban on football shirts is a bit ridiculous. I’m more likely to think a driver wearing a Preston North End T-shirt will know his way around,” spokesman Wayne Clark said.

Spokeswoman Tracy Sutton of Care Trust defended the free fitness training sessions for cabbies, with blood pressure and cholesterol tests. Experts will dish out advice on healthy eating and exercise tips.

“It’s important because the job they do is already very sedentary. They also work through the night when takeaways are often the only food available,” she said.

Filed under: Fashion, Lifestyle, World

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