Angry London bus drivers shared photos of dirty vehicles as the number of TfL employees who died from coronaviruses reached 14.
Bus drivers are angry after city mayor Sadiq Khan said they do not need to wear personal protective equipment despite the number of workers who have died from the virus.
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Transport workers say they work in dirty conditions while 90% of the capital’s buses and more than half of the metro services are still operating despite the lockout.
Khan, who appeared on Good Morning Britain, said Transport for London had sought advice from Public Health England, the Department for Transport and the World Health Organization about whether drivers should have PPE.
He said, “What they told us was that PPE should only be used in healthcare facilities.
“You know there is a shortage of PPE for our NHS and our caregivers, just yesterday, we asked the government for advice on this.
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“Their advice is very clear: transport workers should not wear PPE.”
Mr. Khan also offered his condolences to those who lost their lives and described the measures taken to protect workers in public transport.
He said: “We have made sure we have the most improved cleaning regimes we can do, we have learned from around the world so far, for example, we make sure to use an antiviral disinfectant from hospital type, cleaning the key contact points regularly during the day.
“So on buses, not just in garages and bus depots, but in the steering wheels and handles.
Khan also said plastic wrap was used to cover the holes in the plastic screen separating drivers and passengers.
Despite Mr. Khan’s comments, many people are not satisfied with these provisions.
Anne Nyack appeared a few minutes after Mr. Khan’s interview to talk about her son, Emecka Nyack, a bus driver in Holloway, north London, who died of Covid-19.
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She said, “It made me very, very angry that Sadiq Khan said ‘they do this, they do this and they do a deep cleaning’.
“They don’t do deep cleaning, they just spray it.
“Sadiq needs to go out and take a look at the buses and see under what conditions the drivers operate. They are at risk for my son, unfortunately he is deceased. “
Mr. Khan replied, “What I am doing is following the advice of WHO and PHE, their advice is; in a healthcare setting, people should not wear PPE.
“It’s personal for me – my father was a bus driver, many of my friends and people I know work in public transport and I work regularly and closely with transport unions, including bus drivers on a regular basis. “
He added that Transport for London was considering having passengers board the rear doors.
Khan also said the 9,000 buses currently operating in the capital were installed with Plexiglas film covering the holes in a plastic shield between the drivers and the passengers.
But a Twitter user denied the claim, saying that a driver was forced to use plastic wrap instead.
Mr. Khan added: “They’re really not overlooked, it’s personal, we make sure we take action in London who are world leaders in this area, I wouldn’t want anyone to feel like we are neglecting or ignoring our bus drivers or transport workers, they are as brave as our NHS workers. “
Among the driver deaths, there are three dedicated dads – including Nadir Nur, 48, who leaves behind a 10-month-old daughter, Sahra, and four other children.
Mohammed Nehman, who worked as a bus driver in Birmingham and Mohammad Abdulle, TfL worker, both fathers of three young children, also died.
London bus driver Said Musse and supervisor Paul Aheto also died of the virus, as did Rodolfo Silva who worked for the bus company Go-Ahead London.
Their friends and families paid tribute to the “exceptional” and “gay” men.
Mr. Abdulle’s friends said: “He was an exceptional individual and had a heart of gold.
“He was hardworking, intelligent, and always looked for others around him, supporting them as much as he could.
“The saying” wouldn’t hurt a fly “is an understatement when it comes to Mohamud. “
Khan decided to run a reduced service for trains and buses across the capital during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Photos taken since the start of the lockdown showed workers piled up on the captain’s transportation system.
Employees of the NHS Hero criticized the decision, accusing Mr. Khan of “gathering” workers in crowded public transport.
The mayor said he couldn’t ride more trains because a third of TfL staff fell ill.
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