Man left furious after taxi firm bans him because he is ‘smelly’

A man with a bacterial skin infection said he was "disgusted" when a taxi company banned him because drivers complained he is "smelly".

Stephen Davis said he was offended to receive a voicemail from Andy Cars telling him he could no longer use its services.

The 52-year-old said he explained he had a medical condition but the company remained firm, Gloucestershire Live reports.

He’s since lodged an official complaint with Gloucester City Council, but was told the taxi company is within its rights to refuse the fare.

Stephen had been booking taxis to take him to his GP surgery three times a week to have dressings on his legs changed.

He suffers from diabetes and cellultis, a bacterial skin infection which can inflame the legs and cause skin breakage.

The bandages on his legs are changed on a Friday, he explained, but can become a little smelly by the time Monday comes around.

When he arrived home on Monday, Stephen discovered he had a voicemail from Andy Cars asking him to call them.

"When I called the operator told me that there was an issue of some sort," he said.

"I was then told that I was banned from using Andy Cars due to my personal hygiene

"I have had a problem with my legs for a while and I am being treated and due to see a specialist in March.

"I know that the dressing can smell a bit after the weekend.

"The smell is not my personal hygiene it is more that the bandages smell of damp as they get wet when I shower."

Despite asking the firm to reconsider, he was told the decision has been made and he’d need to look elsewhere for his travel.

Stephen added: "I was just disgusted with what they said and yes I did take offence.

"It is down to a medical condition.

"I used the company every day and I needed to get from my house to the mobility shop so I could get the mobility scooter that I use each day to get around."

Gloucester manager for Andy Cars, John Taylor, said: "The situation was that no-one wanted to take him.

"We suggested that the NHS may be able to transport him.

"Sometimes personal hygiene is a bit below what you would expect from some.

“If someone has a medical condition, the driver has the right to not take them.

"We have explained the situation and I have spoken to the council about the rules and they said it is our choice if we refuse to take a fare."

A Gloucester City Council spokesperson said: "There is nothing either in law or within the current council licensing policy that states or requires that a Private Hire Operator must accept a fare."

Stephen is now using alternative companies.

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