Race row in Southampton over foreign drivers' 'English Speaking Driver' flags on cabs

Posted By: Staff
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London, Feb 3 (ANI): A race row has broken out in Southampton in the United Kingdom after taxi passengers complained that foreign drivers could not understand English.

A group of drivers decided to respond by putting St George's Cross stickers on their cars reading "English Speaking Driver".

But the signs were branded "racist and offensive" by Town Hall officials in Southampton who plan to strip drivers of their license to operate if they don't remove them.

Campaigners want the council to concentrate on more pressing issues rather than stir up a race row, the Daily express reports.

Alex Deane of campaign group Big Brother Watch said: "Southampton Council should leave these taxi drivers alone. Do they not have more important things to be dealing with than enforcing pointless rules and petty complaints?

"If a driver put up a sign saying they spoke Urdu, French or German, this decision would never have been made."

Licensing committee chairman Councillor Brian Parnell said: "It's certainly not the image we want for Southampton. We want to promote harmony in the city. It is offensive to drivers from ethnic minorities who form a large part of the city's drivers."

Council leaders admitted that they've received complaints from people that they cannot understand some taxi drivers.

Clive Johnson, chairman of taxi firm Radio Taxis and the Southampton Trade Association, said: "These signs are not racial.

They are a protest to the council saying please make sure all new drivers have command of the English language." (ANI)

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