Norfolk

Norwich bus driver suspended after he 'refused' to drive Pride bus

A Norwich Park and Ride bus with rainbow coloured numbers. Image copyright Norwich Pride
Image caption Rainbow numbers have been used on buses to support Pride in Norwich since 2017

A bus driver has been suspended after he allegedly refused to drive a bus supporting Pride events.

He reportedly told passengers in Norwich: "This bus promotes homosexuality and I refuse to drive it."

Rainbow numbers were used on the bus in a nod to the Pride flag.

Go East Anglia, which runs Konectbus, said the driver had been suspended and an investigation was under way.

Passenger Becca Sears shared on Twitter that the bus to Thickthorn, near Norwich, was delayed while another driver was found.

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption The story was shared on Twitter

Ms Sears said she complained to staff at Norwich Park and Ride when it happened.

There was outrage on social media after one passenger shared the story on Friday.

Ali B replied on Twitter saying : "Truly shocking!"

Other users suggested the driver should not be suspended but should be given more training.

Go East Anglia said on Twitter that it "prides itself on values that support diversity and inclusion and has been a champion of Norwich Pride since 2017".

It added: "We particularly want all customers of whatever background or sexual orientation to feel comfortable on our services.

"As a company we do not condone any behaviour from our drivers that does not support this view. The driver involved in this incident has been suspended and a full investigation is under way."

Image caption Norwich hosted a Pride event in July

Julie Bremner, trustee of Norwich Pride said: "Our reaction is this type of prejudiced view is exactly why we started Norwich Pride in 2009, to ensure homophobia is visibly challenged and the city is safe and inclusive for all.

"We are pleased to see the bus company take action following this complaint.

"When the buses started showing a rainbow number in 2017, people in our LGBT+ community were delighted as this was another visible symbol to say Norwich welcomes all and is a city of diversity."

Norwich Park and Ride buses used coloured numbers to support the city's Pride events in July.

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