Children's taxi outing to review water bombing during parade

By Angie Brown
BBC Scotland, Edinburgh and East reporter

media captionThe unidentified man made the protest after being soaked by water

Organisers of Edinburgh's annual taxi outing for special needs children are to review procedures after one passerby, who was soaked in water from a taxi, protested by lying in the road.

Footage of the unidentified man disrupting the parade has gone viral.

During the charity event, occupants of the decorated taxis fire water pistols as they drive to the beach.

Organisers said they always took complaints on board and would look at stopping water balloons.

image copyrightSWD Media
image captionThe unidentified man made the protest after being soaked by water

Police said they had spoken to a man about his conduct during the procession on the Royal Mile on Tuesday, but that no further action was taken.

Keith Bell, Edinburgh Taxi Outing committee secretary, told the BBC Scotland news website: "This is a tradition that has been going on since 1947 and the children get very excited about it.

"I will look at having no water balloons next year, that might be an option, and I will discuss it with the committee.

"But I would be very reluctant to impose a ban on water pistols on the kids."

Mr Bell said children with special needs were often treated very poorly.

image copyrightScottish Parliament

"This is one day off from being judged and having snide comments from ignorant members of the public," he said.

"Children with special needs sometimes suffer discrimination for outbursts or meltdowns in public which they can't stop because they have a medical condition.

"This event brings them great joy and many people come out of schools, fire stations and nursing homes to soak us back along the route.

"It is a balance of negatives and positives but I think it's 95% positive for the children as it gives them a guilt-free day.

"I publicise the event with advertising and on Twitter and I stand on the lorry at the front telling people that they need to close their car windows if they don't want to get wet."

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One black cab driver, who wants to remain anonymous, said: "I think it does go over the top sometimes. I don't approve of the water pistols and it's not the kids, it's the helpers.

"People see the parade coming with the lovely balloons and then they get a shock to be hit by water.

"You can enjoy yourself without doing that. I don't approve of the water."