A cab driver has been rapped on the knuckles by council bosses after 'fat shaming' a size 28 passenger by allegedly telling her 'you need a bigger cab'.
Kyer Hoskin, 29, was about 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.
Mortified, she refused to get into the five-door hatchback and instead went to the next vehicle along - submitting a complaint to Cambridge City Council as soon as she got home.
Kyer Hoskin, 29, from Chesterton, Cambridgeshire, was about 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 last month
Kyer, from Chesterton, Cambridgeshire, said she would have been able to 'comfortably' fit into the car with a regular seatbelt as she doesn't require an extender, having travelled into the city centre that morning with no problems.
The carer, who is currently between jobs, is speaking out about her distressing experience to ensure no one else faces the same thing.
Someone claiming to be the taxi driver's colleague wrote on social media that the driver was putting Kyer's 'safety and interest' at heart.
They claimed there is less leg room in the hatchback in 'comparison to a multi seater' and previously another 'big individual' was unable to put the seatbelt on.
Kyer, who has a binge-eating disorder, said she would have been able to 'comfortably' fit into the car with a regular seatbelt as she doesn't require an extender, having travelled into the city centre that morning with no problems
Kyer, who has a binge-eating disorder, has an email showing the council responded in writing to her complaint, saying it would be logged on the driver's personal file for future reference.
Cambridge City Council confirmed any allegations made against licensed drivers would be thoroughly investigated and 'appropriate enforcement action taken'.
Kyer said: 'I approached the first taxi in the queue and asked him if he took card [payments].
'He was umming and aahing about the wifi on his phone and said "it might not work when we get there so please make sure you have cash" but nobody carries cash at the moment because of Covid.
The carer, who is currently between jobs, took to social media to talk about her experience on March 15
'Then he looked me up and down and as I was about to get into the back of the cab he said "don't you think you might need a bigger one like that one over there?"
'I said "I'm not going to get in if you're going to be like that" then I went to another taxi.
'I spoke to the driver and said "he's fat-shamed me saying 'do you need a bigger cab because you're not really going to fit'."
'The driver said it was disgusting and I said "Is it? it's quite normal for me, I do get it quite a lot".'
Having travelled the 10-minute journey into town by taxi earlier that morning on March 15, Kyer decided to get a cab back home at around 9.30am.
Kyer said: 'I'd got a cab into town from mine and there was no problem, I went to deposit cash into my bank.
'Because of Covid there was nothing else to do in town so I thought I might as well go home.
Kyer, who has a binge-eating disorder, has an email showing the council responded in writing to her complaint, saying it would be logged on the driver's personal file for future reference
'I went to the taxi rank and there were quite a few taxis waiting there already and that's when it happened.
'The taxi driver that I did eventually end up with was really nice about the whole situation.'
Kyer said: 'There's a reason for why I'm big, I suffer from a binge-eating disorder and not a lot of people understand that very well.
'The week prior to this I had actually nearly been taken off the road off my moped by some people calling me a "fat c*** get off your moped".
'You wouldn't believe some of the responses I had on social media. One lady was trying to be supportive but she worked for Slimming World and decided to send me some vouchers.
'It's not my size that's the problem, it's the ignorance that's the problem.
'It's hard being big, there's just no need for people to make it worse by having a go at somebody about their weight.
'It's only going to make the situation worse because they'll end up going home feeling sad and then bingeing because they feel bad.'
Upset by the experience, Kyer reported the taxi driver and received a reply stating it was the first recorded complaint that the driver had received and the incident had been placed on his personal file.
Kyer said: 'I don't have problems with taxis generally, it's not like I need a belt extender usually.
'I kind of get he was trying to be nice in case the seatbelt didn't fit but that's not my problem.
'He's a taxi driver, if a seatbelt doesn't fit surely he should have an extender available to him?
'If I can sit in the back of a taxi comfortably and I can put my seatbelt on it's fine, but to be honest I really do think whether or not a person's big taxi drivers should have extenders - not that I need them but for other people.
'I shared what happened to me so it would stop people from being ignorant and maybe it would help somebody else.
Kyer would have liked a written apology from the taxi driver and said she thinks that all taxi drivers should have extenders available for those who need them
'A written apology from him would have been nice, that's what I would expect from anybody.
'If anybody says anything to me now it's on them because at the end of the day they're the ones that are losing out on my money.'
Kyer said people should think before commenting on someone's size as the repercussions could be extremely hurtful and even life-changing.
She said: 'If I had the chance to speak to that driver I would probably say "be mindful of what you say to somebody" because especially something like that because you could end up killing them.
'I know that sounds dark but in this day and age it's very true. I know people say sticks and stones… I honestly think words are worse.'
The colleague wrote: 'Sorry to hear about your experience.
Someone claiming to be the taxi driver's colleague wrote on social media that the driver was putting Kyer's 'safety and interest' at heart, claiming there is less leg room in the hatchback in 'comparison to a multi seater'
'A colleague shared a screenshot in our taxi WhatsApp group and I did get in touch with the driver in question to hear his side.
'He felt that you may "struggle" in his [car] as there is "less leg room in comparison to a multi seater".
'Previously another "big" individual experienced difficulties and he was unable to put the seatbelt on. I am assured your safety/interest was at heart. He also added we are in unprecedented times and drivers are waiting up to three-four hours for a job.
'I obviously don't know his intentions but I do know it's [a] long wait for a job atm [at the moment].
'I have sat in that rank for [a] few hours and went home without a job.'
One user commented: 'Absolutely disgusting behaviour, here if you need a friend.'
Another wrote: 'Definitely report him hun. Doesn't matter what size you are that's a hurtful thing to say.
'I'm a larger lady myself and understand completely how this can knock your confidence. Always here if you need a chat.'
A third commented: 'Oh no this is so wrong, this is disgusting and should not happen.
'I am incensed for you. I've been fat-shamed myself and I know the pain, the guilt, the shame I felt.
'I wanted to lose weight but didn't know how or if I could start and having someone slate me and put their judgement of me on my shoulders, that already carries my own (unfairly to be fair, because happy counts not size) it was too much. People can be horrendous.'
Another user added: 'Aaargggh! Rage!!! What a pr**k! Obviously made him feel inferior because he has little man syndrome! Obviously not ready for this jelly.'
A Cambridge City Council spokesman said: 'As Licensing Authority, we take the behaviour and conduct of our licensed taxi drivers extremely seriously.
'Our officers work hard to seek to ensure all our licensed drivers are fit and proper, deliver a high standard of service; and protect the health and safety of the public at all times.
'Any allegations made against any Cambridge City Council licensed taxi driver is thoroughly investigated by the Authority, and appropriate enforcement action is taken in accordance with our licensing enforcement policy.'