UnNews:Taxi firm to axe OAP's discount travel scheme

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Taxi firm to axe OAP's discount travel scheme

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1 May 2009

Spork This page was originally sporked from telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/5256815/Taxi-firm-under-fire-for-Biddies-and-Codgers-scheme.html.
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Mrs. Froggy keeping an eye on what was going on in her neighbourhood yesterday. "I am not an interfering old biddy," she says.

CHICHESTER, Great Britain -- Ancient widow Maribel Froggy has told how she felt insulted after receiving a leaflet from a local taxi firm advertising what it refers to as its Biddies and Codgers discount fares scheme recently. Believing that the names might be offensive, she looked them up in her dictionary and discovered that biddies is defined as "interfering old women" and codgers as "old or eccentric men".

Having nothing better to do, she immediately contacted the company to make a complaint about the service, which runs between 9am and 11pm seven days a week and allows pensioners to travel anywhere within the local area for just £2.50. "At first I was just going to ignore it," says Mrs. Froggy, "but the more I thought about it the more angry I became. I'd already been for my morning stroll to the shop and decided I'd spend the rest of the day getting something done about it. I'm disgusted - I may be an OAP but I'm certainly not a biddy; and everyone else I've talked to about it is disgusted too. I've been round knocking on doors to inform people about it and they all say the same thing." After ringing the taxi firm, she got in contact with Chichester Council who have launched an enquiry.

"It's like being called an old hag," Mrs. Froggy continues, "and I know for a fact that if my husband Alf was still alive, he wouldn't like being called a codger. I've never been so insulted since I started complaining at the Residents Association meetings about local youths playing football on the field behind my house after 7pm at night and was called some absolutely shocking names by certain people round here who have no respect for somebody carrying out their civic duty."

However, Mike Brellerby, owner of the cab company, says that Mrs. Froggy's is one of only two complaints the firm has received. "We send out around 7000 of these leaflets a month," he told UnNews, "most of the old folks round here love it. We take them to hospital, to visit friends, wherever they want to go - it's a way of helping them to get out and about for little cost. They talk about it in the local bingo hall."

A spokesperson for Chichester Council, which recently outlawed the phrase "man in the street" because of its sexist overtones, confirmed that they had received a complaint from a member of the public and would be investigating. "We believe that terms such as biddy, old woman, old fool and old codger stereotype old people as fussy, stupid and dependent. We advise that instead people use the term older person," she said.

The company's taxi controller, Gary Wheelie - who is responsible for ensuring cabs go to the right place at the right time to pick up passengers - said, "It's sad that someone can take offence. To me, if someone says "old codger," it's an affectionate term, not an insult. If we were trying to offend people we would be charging them £5, not £2.50. Before you know it, someone'll be complaining about our Niggers and Wops discount scheme, which allows immigrants to travel to the local fried chicken takeaway for £3."

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