Ladies first

WOMEN are at the centre of a new safety initiative being piloted over the festive period.

Female First, organised by Glasgow Taxis, will offer southside women a safe, secure and prioritised service service.

Bosses of the black cab firm, the largest in the UK outside London, said they felt dutybound to protect females who can become vulnerable or victims of attack when trying to get home after a night out.

Women can set up a dedicated personal account over the Christmas period to ensure safe and secure transport is at hand.

The new service can also be booked by a husband, boyfriend or father to arrange a taxi service for loved ones.

Women will be given a prioritised number, and a personal phone call means they can wait indoors until their specific taxi arrives.

All of Glasgow Taxis' drivers are covered by full enhanced Disclosure Scotland checks for added security.

Danny Ryan, acting chairman of Glasgow Taxis, said: "We have decided to introduce this account to female customers as we feel a responsibility to do everything we can to ensure their security and safe journeys home during the Christmas period.

"Glasgow Taxis' drivers witness year on year the difficulties some young women can find themselves in at the end of a night out, from being ill equipped for the cold, unwilling to wait in short queues, out of pocket and sometimes worse for wear.

"It is with those scenarios at the forefront of our minds that we knew we had to do something to help women make a safe journey".

The company has more than 2,000 drivers and 1,000 vehicles in the city.

Chief superintendent Ruaraidh Nicolson of community safety, said: "We welcome and support any initiative to get people home safely and encourages them to plan ahead, not just during the festive season, but at any time of the year".