Sadiq Khan announces free bus trip to London to protect drivers from coronavirus

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Bus passengers in London will be able to travel for free thanks to new driver protection measures.

Transport for London (TfL) announced that customers “won’t have to get in touch” with their payment card or device from Monday.

The move is designed to prevent passengers from approaching the driver’s cabin, where all buses have a card reader.

It occurs after the death of 21 transport workers, including 15 buses, in the capital after a positive test for Covid-19.

Ten public transport workers die after positive coronavirus test

A minute of silence was celebrated Friday morning for those who died after contracting a coronavirus.

The temporary decision to tell passengers that they no longer need to pay coincides with a lawsuit involving passengers using the middle door to board nine routes, extended to all buses in the capital.

Passengers using London buses, which usually cost £ 1.50 for unlimited journeys in less than an hour, normally board using the front door and depart through the middle door, but a TfL pilot has shown that passengers can “keep a safe distance” when using the middle door.

Other safety measures include discouraging the use of seats near drivers, covering the holes in their protective screens with a transparent film and a rigorous cleaning regime.

TfL’s director of bus operations, Claire Mann, reminded passengers to use London transport only for essential travel.

She said, “Bus drivers are essential to ensure that essential workers like NHS staff and grocers can play the essential roles they play during this national emergency.

“Their efforts are nothing short of heroic, and it is essential that we leave nothing to chance when we seek to protect them.

“Extending boarding of the central doors only on the bus network will add another layer of protection in addition to the other robust protections in place.

“Even with these significant safety improvements, I would like to remind Londoners to stay home to ensure that critical workers and London bus drivers can get around town safely.”

Pete Kavanagh, regional secretary of the Unite union, which campaigned for a home boarding ban across London, welcomed the news.

He said: “This is a very welcome initiative and we are very relieved that TfL is listening to Unite and its members.

“We have lost members of our bus family in the past few days and we refuse to lose more.

“Unite has requested central boarding as an essential safety measure during these times as bus workers rightly fear their health.”

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