Five London bus drivers have now sadly lost their lives to the coronavirus.
The union, Unite, said the deaths were a “terrible tragedy” – and called on the government to provide personal protective equipment to drivers.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was “absolutely devastated” by the news, and again urged the public to stay at home and not to take journeys unless absolutely essential.
Unite regional secretary, Peter Kavanagh, said: “Unite has been working continuously with Transport for London (TfL) and the operators to ensure the safety of drivers and others in the industry who are performing a heroic job in getting NHS and care workers to their places of work.
“These measures include deep cleaning of buses, additional cleaning of touch points, the sealing of screens around the driver, the provision of hand sanitizer for all and placing the passenger seating closest to the driver out of bounds.
“I have been in direct contact with the mayor of London who shares our view that bus drivers must be fully protected.”
Safety measures taken in light of the coronavirus crisis include forbidding passengers from travelling near to the driver and more cleaning.
“I have been clear that our incredible public transport staff – on the buses, tubes, trams and trains – are critical workers, making a heroic effort to allow our NHS staff to save more lives,” said Mayor Khan.
“All drivers on London buses are shielded by a Perspex screen and TfL have ensured measures have been taken to keep staff as safe as possible – with enhanced cleaning, stopping passengers from riding near drivers and boosting social distancing at stations and stops.
“TfL will continue to make enhancements across public transport in London to ensure there are even higher levels of protection.”