TfL's Covid-19 fatalities rise to 45 after bus driver dies

A person wearing a face mask rides a bus on Piccadilly, London, following the introduction of measures to bring England out of lockdown.
Credit: PA

Unions have called for tighter safety measures on the capitals transport network after a London bus driver become the 45th Transport for London (TfL) worker to die after testing positive for coronavirus.

TfL boss Andy Byford said he was “desperately sad” and “it breaks my heart” that another employee has died.

He told Mayor of London Sadiq Khan – whose father was a bus driver – that he knows “it does resonate personally with you, Sadiq, to have lost another colleague”.

Mr Byford, who did not name the person who has died, went on: “We are putting every effort into making sure that lessons learned from the early part of the pandemic are embedded and we’re putting a huge focus on making sure that we’re fully prepared for the second wave which does appear to becoming apparent.”

Trade union Unite, which represents more than 20,000 London bus workers, has called for improvements to vehicle safety to better protect drivers and passengers as the virus continues to spread.

It wants to ensure all screens and seals are properly installed, health and safety reps are stood down from normal duties to monitor safety in garages and for a review and enhancement of cleaning regimes.

TfL has updated its death in service policy so that travel passes for a friend, partner or relative living at the same address as an employee are extended for six months after their death.

“I think that’s entirely legitimate,” Mr Byford said. “They’ve made the ultimate sacrifice, this is the very least that we can do for wonderful people who through no fault of their own were exposed to this deadly and awful virus.”