Coronavirus: Bus driver reveals appalling working conditions as employer ignores guidelines

6 April 2020, 18:57

By Seán Hickey

A London bus driver told of the disrespect he experiences from people ignoring social distancing rules and the shocking conditions he works under.

Jay was explaining to Shelagh that he is not provided with any protective equipment in work and he has to check and touch surfaces that may be carrying Covid-19.

"We're told that it's against World Health Organisation rules" he revealed. He explained to Shelagh that the company he works for is putting him at risk every day at work by ignoring guidelines and he fears for his health and wellbeing.

"If you had proper disposable gloves it'd be safer than what you're doing now" Shelagh replied. She told Jay that the only time the WHO doesn't recommend PPE is when people are touching their bare skin after touching surfaces with gloves and the like, which completely defeats the purpose of the equipment.

Some bus companies in London aren't providing their employees with personal protective equipment
Some bus companies in London aren't providing their employees with personal protective equipment. Picture: PA

Jay noted that his company keep hiding behind TfL and they claim to have their hands tied on the matter. He told Shelagh that he and his colleagues have argued that their employer has to take responsibility as "TfL isn't our employer".

Jay also pointed out the changes in his working habits, stating that "they've changed to a Sunday service, so we've gone from a 6 hour to 10 hour shifts". He believes that changes like this are putting him more at risk as he could be working through two rush hours in a day.

"It's just madness."

He told Shelagh of his disappointment at seeing people ignoring social distancing guidelines, where he's spotted "kids jumping on the bus with their friends" and he cannot request back up if they get out of hand as all public services are stretched at the moment.

Jay was most disheartened by how when he tries to play to the reason of these people by asking them why they're getting on a bus in the first place, he just suffers abuse.