There's been some comment across at the Omnibuses blog about whether bus drivers should be allowed to wear shorts in hot weather. It's timely as again we are enjoying some hot weather in UK. And I know you can put forward a case by asking staff and passengers on a hot day what they think. (They'll give you the obvious answer).
I am against drivers wearing shorts because, as I have said previously, I am also against airline pilots wearing jeans and T-shirts.
Same reason - it looks unprofessional. Our passengers rely on us to do our jobs safely, professionally, and diligently. Our drivers have to convey that by their knowledge, demeanour, behaviour and appearance as well as their driving skill. A smartly-dressed, clean and tidy driver already gives passengers a good impression which makes them feel comfortable and assured.
There is the question about whether a driver is able to do his job if he is uncomfortable. Clearly he can't and we have made phenomenal progress since he was required to sit in his heavy 'military' wear alongside a big heat-generating engine. Now he has a cab with automatic transmission, power steering, fingertip controls and on most modern vehicles purchased in recent years - cab airconditioning.
For the avoidance of doubt I have no trouble driving a bus for a full shift in my uniform trousers, shirt and tie. Firstly I make sure what I have fits properly. Obviously if anything is too tight that is uncomfortable so it has to be the right size. Secondly I think about my eating and drinking requirements in and around the shift to make sure I am alert, hydrated and capable of doing the shift.
I have the cab aircon on and the cab window SHUT so that the cab stays cool, and I turn off the sources of all known heat like the saloon lights, cab lights, etc.
The cab is the bus driver's office and he deserves to have it properly laid-out, clean and with all the features working. It is sad to have to say that when we find a cab full of old newspapers, cigarette ends, food, litter etc and with features (like the cab aircon unserviceable and unreported) there is no one to take responsibility for this than the driver.
So, my message is, let's raise our game. Look smart, have a healthy eating/drinking lifestyle, be well turned-out and use the equipment as required. And if we raise our game we'll have more satisfied passengers and more revenue.
Am expecting a big reaction!
The ultimate way to stay cool at work - wingwalking here with the Breitling team.