More than 15,000 people sign petition demanding reinstatement of bus driver suspended over Pride views

(Photo: Twitter)

Thousands of people have signed a petition on CitizenGo calling for the reinstatement of a Norwich bus driver after he allegedly refused to drive a bus endorsing local Pride events.

According to passenger Rebecca Sears, the bus driver refused to drive the bus because the number on the front had been illuminated in rainbow colours in honour of Pride, the Daily Mail reports.

She alleged that the bus driver insisted on his vehicle being swapped before departing from the Norwich Park and Ride station.

"He said we have to wait a minute, he said I am not driving this bus because it promotes homosexuality," she said.

Sears complained to the operator Go East Anglia, which has suspended the driver and launched an investigation. 

She said: "I said to them that he had gone to swap buses and that it is ridiculous because that is just a ridiculous reason.

"You are stopping people from getting home for such a ridiculous reason. It is really bad."

Pride events were held across Norwich in July. 

Go East Anglia addressed the alleged incident on Twitter, saying that it "prides itself on values that support diversity and inclusion and has been a champion of Norwich Pride since 2017".

"We particularly want all customers of whatever background or sexual orientation to feel comfortable on our services," it said.

"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."

A CitizenGo petition calling for the driver's reinstatement has been signed over 15,600 times. 

The petition defends the right of the driver to act according to his conscience. 

"The driver was not expressing any hatred or offensive remarks towards the LGBT community or any one individual but simply exercising his own conscience rights when it comes to being forced to promote a political ideology with which he disagrees," it reads.