Council chiefs slapped a taxi driver on the knuckles after he was “grossly embarrassed” by a size 28 passenger, allegedly telling her “you need a bigger taxi”.
Kyer Hoskin, 29, was due to get into a taxi after depositing cash at a bank in Cambridge, when she claims the driver “looked her up and down” and suggested she travel in a larger vehicle.
Indignant, she refused to enter the five-door hatchback and instead headed for the next vehicle – filing a complaint with Cambridge City Council as soon as she returned home.
Kyer Hoskin, 29, of Chesterton, Cambridgeshire, was due to get into a taxi after depositing cash at a bank in Cambridge, when he claims the driver “looked her up and down” and suggested she travel in a larger vehicle last month
Kyer from Chesterton, Cambridgeshire said she would be able to ‘comfortably’ fit in the car with her usual seat belt because she doesn’t need an extension cord because she traveled downtown without a problem that morning.
The nurse, who is currently in between jobs, talks about her harrowing experience to ensure that no one else faces the same thing.
Someone who is claimed to be a fellow taxi driver wrote on social media that she put Kyer’s ‘safety and interest’ in the driver’s heart.
They claimed there was less legroom in the hatchback compared to the multi-seater, and previously another “big individual” couldn’t put on a seat belt.
Kyer, who has an overeating disorder, said she would be able to ‘comfortably’ fit in the car with her usual seat belt, because she doesn’t need an extension cord, because she traveled to the city center without any problems that morning.
Kyer, who has an overeating disorder, has an email showing the council responded in writing to her complaint, saying it will be recorded in the driver’s personal file for future use.
The Cambridge City Council has confirmed that all allegations made against licensed drivers will be thoroughly investigated and “appropriate enforcement measures taken”.
Kyer said, ‘I approached the first taxi in line and asked him if he had taken a ticket [payments].
‘He was thinking and messing around about the wifi on his phone and saying‘ maybe it won’t work when we get there, so please make sure you have cash ’but at the moment no one is carrying cash because of Covid.
The nurse, who is currently in between jobs, contacted social media to discuss her experience on March 15
‘Then he looked me up and down and as I was getting ready to get in the back of the cab, he said’ don’t you think you might need a bigger one like the one over there? ‘
‘I said‘ I’m not going in if you’re going to be like that ’and then I went to another taxi.
“I talked to the driver and said ’embarrassed me by saying’ do you need a bigger cab because you’re not really going to stop. ‘”
‘The driver said it was disgusting and I said,’ Is it? It’s perfectly normal for me, I have a lot of it. ‘
After traveling a ten-minute taxi ride to town earlier that morning on March 15, Kyer decided to return the taxi home around 9.30am.
Kyer said: ‘I got a taxi to my town and there was no problem, I went to deposit cash in my bank.
‘Because of Covid, there was nothing else to do in town, so I thought I could go home too.
Kyer, who has an overeating disorder, has an email showing the council responded in writing to her complaint saying it will be recorded in the driver’s personal file for future use.
‘I went to the taxi station and there were already quite a few taxis waiting and that’s when it happened.
‘The taxi driver I ended up with was very nice in the whole situation.’
Kyer exploded people’s “ignorance” of larger people and said “reckless” comments could eventually move people.
Kyer said, ‘There’s a reason why I’m big, I suffer from overeating disorders and there aren’t a lot of people who understand that very well.
‘It made me angry, [comments like this] upset me. It annoyed me, no one should talk to me like that, but I’m pretty used to it.
‘A week before that, people almost turned me off the road from a moped, and some people called me a‘ fat c *** s moped ’.
‘You wouldn’t believe some of the answers I got on social media. One lady was trying to provide support, but she worked for Slimming World and decided to send me some vouchers.
Kyer exploded people’s “ignorance” towards bigger people and said “reckless” comments could eventually move people
‘The problem is not in my size, but in ignorance.
‘It’s hard to be big, there’s just no need for people to make it worse by persuading someone because of their weight.
‘It will only make the situation worse because they will eventually go home feeling sad and then suffer because they feel bad.’
Disturbed by the experience, Kyer reported the taxi driver and received a response stating that this was the first recorded complaint the driver had received and the incident had been placed in his personal file.
Kyer said: ‘Generally I don’t have a problem with taxis, it’s not exactly that I usually need a belt extender.
‘I realize he tried to be nice in case the seat belt didn’t fit, but that’s not my problem.
“He is a taxi driver, if the seat belt certainly does not fit, an extension cord should be available to him?”
‘If I can sit comfortably in the back of a taxi and I can fasten my seat belt, but honestly, I really think some big taxi drivers should have extensions – not that I need them, but for other people.
‘I shared what happened to me to prevent people from being ignorant and maybe it would help someone else.
Kyer would love a written apology from taxi drivers and say she thinks all taxi drivers should have extensions available for those who need them
‘A written apology from him would be nice, I would expect that from anyone.
‘If anyone tells me anything now, it’s up to them, because at the end of the day they lose my money.’
Kyer said people should think before commenting on someone’s greatness because the consequences could be extremely harmful and even life-threatening.
She said: ‘If I had a chance to talk to that driver, I would probably say‘ be careful what you tell someone ’, because especially something like that because you could end up killing them.
‘I know it sounds dark, but these days it’s very true. I know people say sticks and stones … I honestly think the words are worse. ‘
After sharing their experience on Facebook, social media users flooded comments with messages of support – including one apparently seen by a colleague of the driver in question.
A colleague wrote: ‘I am sorry to hear about your experience.
Someone who is claimed to be a fellow taxi driver wrote on social media that the driver put Kyer’s ‘safety and interest’ in his heart, claiming that there is less legroom in the hatchback compared to the ‘multi-seater’
‘A colleague shared a screenshot in our WhatsApp taxi group and I got in touch with the driver in question to hear his side.
‘He felt you could‘ suffer ’in his [car] because there is “less legroom than a multi-seater”.
‘Before another‘ big ’individual had difficulty and failed to put on a seat belt. I am convinced that your security / interest was at heart. He also added that we are in unprecedented times, and drivers are waiting for work for three to four hours.
‘Obviously I don’t know his intentions, but I know he is [a] long wait at the ATM [at the moment].
‘I’ve been sitting in that rank already [a] a few hours and went home without a job. ‘
One user commented, “Absolutely disgusting behavior, here’s if you need a friend.”
Another wrote: ‘Definitely report him hun. It doesn’t matter what size you are, it’s harmful to say.
‘I’m a bigger lady myself and I fully understand how this can lower your self-confidence. Always here if you need a conversation. ‘
After sharing their experience on Facebook, social media users flooded comments with messages of support, telling her to report the driver and that it was ‘disgusting behavior’
A third commented, ‘Oh no, this is so wrong, this is disgusting and should not happen.
‘I’m angry about you. I was ashamed of myself and I know the pain, guilt and shame I felt.
‘I wanted to lose weight, but I didn’t know how or if I could start without someone carrying me and putting their judgment of me on their shoulders, which already carries my own (unfair to be honest, because luck doesn’t count size) was too much. People can be horrible. ‘
Another user added: ‘Aaargggh! Rage !!! What a fuck! He obviously felt inferior because he has little man syndrome! Obviously I’m not ready for this jelly. ‘
A Cambridge City Council spokesman said: ‘As a licensing authority, we take the behavior and conduct of our licensed taxi drivers extremely seriously.
“Our staff work hard to ensure that all of our licensed drivers are correct and provide a high standard of service; and protect the health and safety of the public at all times.
‘The competent authorities shall thoroughly investigate all allegations made against any taxi driver with the permission of the Cambridge City Council and appropriate enforcement measures shall be taken in accordance with our licensing enforcement policy.’