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Aberdeen taxi drivers under criticism for turning away passengers

A Facebook post of a woman being turned away for travelling alone exposes Aberdeen taxi companies

By Tomoki Otani and Olivia Mackenzie Smith

Courtesy of MichaelGaida via Pixabay

The post by Emily Cartney referred to her friend, Laura Scott, who after queuing to get a taxi home at the end of a night out was turned away because “she wasn’t in a group and he wouldn’t get as much money.” This situation was repeated by another taxi she tried to board.

Scott was eventually forced to walk home, contending with public street harassment, with “cars pulling up beside her full of men shouting things at her to get in their cars.”

Cartney expressed her frustration to The Gaudie, saying:

“They tell us not to walk on our own. They tell us to dress in a way that we’re not asking for it. They tell us to watch our drinks or it’s our fault. All of that is complete s***e. Just be a good bloody person and we wouldn’t have to worry.” The post has since been shared widely.

When asked about the incident, Laura Scott replied:

“The whole experience was pretty overwhelming. I found myself as a single female walking home in a vulnerable state and extremely emotional... Leaving a single woman, especially in today’s society, to walk home on her own is not acceptable and should never be condoned, especially when her phone is dead, in order to make a bit of extra cash. It’s disgusting.”

The Gaudie reached out to Rainbow Taxis for a comment on this situation.

General manager Gordon McKay responded only by highlighting Conditions Applicable to Taxi driving licenses:

“The driver of a taxi need not convey any hirer or passenger who is drunk or otherwise not in a fit and proper state to be carried; or whose condition of clothing is offensive or likely to cause damage to the interior of the taxi; or who refuses to cease smoking in the taxi when requested to do so by the driver or is accompanied by an animal which is likely to damage or soil the interior of the taxi; or for any other reasonable excuse as approved by the licensing authority.”

Aberdeen taxi companies have also collaborated with local students to introduce the Safe Taxi Scheme in 2015.

The scheme was introduced in 2013 by Stirling University student president after the disappearance and death of Stirling University student David O’Halloran.

O’Halloran, aged 18, had reportedly prematurely exited his taxi approximately two-thirds of a mile from his accommodations because “[…] he did not have the cash to pay the fare.”

RGU student Edward Campbell led the effort to have it introduced in Aberdeen.

On the AUSA Advice page, under the Student Safety tab, you can find the Aberdeen Safe Taxi Scheme. Consisting of four steps, the scheme provides options for students who find themselves in unexpectedly dangerous, unsafe, or difficult situations to return home safely and securely.

More information regarding this scheme can be found at


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