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Taxi driver suspended for swearing at pensioners on day out

Glasgow cabbie Michael Houston refused to hand back his tip after his outburst.

Glasgow: Michael Houston lost his temper with his passengers.
Glasgow: Michael Houston lost his temper with his passengers. Pixabay

A taxi driver who verbally abused four elderly passengers on a day out has had his licence suspended.

The women, who were in their 70s, had enjoyed a tour of Glasgow City Chambers before being picked up by Michael Houston on George Square.

On their way to Buchanan Bus Station, the women asked Houston if they could be taken to nearby La Bonne Auberge.

Houston failed to acknowledge their request and continued to drive while on his mobile phone.

He stopped outside the restaurant on West Nile Street and took the fare including a tip.

The women struggled to open the door and had to ask the driver for assistance.

He repeatedly told them to use the yellow handle before losing his temper and swearing at them.

Following his outburst, he refused to hand back the tip.

A complaint was made to Glasgow City Council regarding Houston's bad temper.

He was asked to attend an interview with the authority's enforcement officers and was fined £100 by Glasgow Taxis.

Houston was brought before the licensing committee on Wednesday to explain his actions.

He said: "I was not aware of any problems and took the passengers to La Bonne Auberge as they requested.

"I did tell them to use the yellow handle and I may have muttered something under my breath but I didn't use this language.

"I don't understand where this accusation came from."

Councillors said his behaviour had "tarnished the reputation of Glasgow Taxis".

Councillor Alex Wilson said: "These were four senior citizens who had their day ruined by your behaviour. They were not drunken youths.

"You did not give them a good customer experience and have tarnished the reputation of Glasgow Taxis. They will now use private hire cars as they think they are going to get a better service.

"You have let down these four individuals."

Houston said that it was not his intention to ruin their day. It was also pointed out he had been suspended in 2014 for a similar incident.

Following the hearing members agreed to suspend Houston's licence for four months.

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