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Sadiq Khan confirms 14 TfL workers have now died from coronavirus
8 April 2020, 08:54
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has confirmed 14 TfL workers have now died from coronavirus.
It comes amid growing calls for transport workers to be given PPE equipment to help protect them from Covid-19.
Mr Khan said dead include nine bus workers, three Transport for London employees, a Tube worker and an employee for one of TfL’s suppliers.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Khan said TfL has now implemented stricter cleaning measures.
He said: "We’ve made sure, for example, that we’re using advanced cleaning regimes.
"We’re using antiviral disinfectant, the sort of stuff you use in hospitals, to clean not just the steering wheels, but the handles, the bus garages, the restrooms.
"We’ve also made sure that passengers can’t sit too near a bus driver."
On Monday, the death toll for TfL workers was 10, meaning in the past 48 hours another four have been confirmed dead.
Mr Khan has faced criticism for his handling of the coronavirus crisis, and the mother of one of the victims has questioned whether the drivers have been given enough protection.
Anne Nyack, lost her 36-year-old bus driver son Emeka to coronavirus on Saturday.
Speaking on GMB, she responded to Mr Khan’s interview, saying: “Anger, absolute anger… my stomach turned and I just got up and walked out. I was fuming, that’s why I’ve called in.”
She went on to say that she was hearing bus drivers’ cabins were still dirty and added: “He [Mr Khan] needs to get out there and see the conditions the drivers are operating in.
"They are at risk, my son was at risk. Sadly, he died.”
New measures have now been brought in to protect bus drivers from getting too close to their passengers.
From this week, TfL is set to trial how passengers boarding on the middle-doors busses will work across the network.
It is hope that middle-door boarding will ensure that critical workers can continue to rely on London’s buses to travel, while ensuring that drivers can maintain social distancing while working.
Claire Mann, Director of Bus Operations at TfL, said: “London’s hard-working transport workers are making a heroic effort at the frontline of the fight against this pandemic, and it is only right we consider everything we can to protect them.
"We’ve already delivered many other enhanced safety measures and by trialling middle-door only boarding on buses we can gain the information we need to see if we can further improve safety on London’s buses.
"Most Londoners can do their bit to protect our bus colleagues and other critical workers by remembering: stay home, don’t travel, save lives.”