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Transport For London reveals 57 staff have been killed by Covid


Transport for London has revealed that 57 of its staff have been killed by coronavirus including 42 bus workers and eight Tube and rail staff. 

The news comes after RMT – National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers – announced that as last three TfL workers died with Covid in recent days.  

But TfL has revealed it believes 57 of the capital’s transport workers have died during the pandemic.  

According to the Evening Standard’s Health Editor, Ross Lydall, some 42 bus workers have died alongside eight Tube and rail workers, three from head office and four in partner organisations.   

London’s Transport Commissioner Andy Byford said: ‘I am determined we as an organisation continue to play our part in the national effort to beat coronavirus. 

‘Our heroic frontline staff and colleagues across the transport industry are the beating heart of London and have kept this great city moving through one of the most challenging periods in its history and helped ensure life-saving critical workers were able to do their jobs.’  

Current safety measures on buses include additional cleaning substances and disinfectants that protect for up to 30 days, more frequent cleaning. 

TfL also added an extra layer of protection to the clear screen that separates bus drivers from passengers and discourage passengers from sitting near the driver with signs.   

Middle-door only boarding was temporarily rolled out across the bus network to enable better social distancing. 

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.’

During the peak of the pandemic, eight London bus drivers died after contracting the virus in just three days. 

Elsewhere in the country, bus drivers have died in the north-west, Nottingham and Bristol. Union officials said hundreds of depot staff have also fallen ill.

Other transport workers including Tube and rail staff have also lost their lives while at work during the pandemic.

Just weeks into the lockdown in March, drivers complained buses were not being efficiently cleaned.

One driver claimed Transport for London (TfL) placed the responsibility of cleaning on the staff.

There were also reports of a firm in the West Country using a ‘shower screen’ across the cab window to act as a barrier. 

Other staff members had to use scarves and swimming googles to protect themselves.  

On April 7, London bus driver Mervyn Kennedy, 67, died from Covid-19. His devastated family blamed a ‘lack of personal protective equipment’.

The dad-of-three, who had no underlying health conditions, was rushed to hospital with breathing difficulties and died the following day.

His daughter Ellen wrote on Facebook: ‘No more families need to grieve the loss of a loved one due to the lack of PPE.’

And the daughter of driver Ranjith Chandrapala, 64, called for a public inquiry into how the bus workers are protected.   

Mr Chandrapala died in May after driving the No 92 bus on the Ealing hospital route from the start of the crisis.

His daughter Leshie told the Guardian: ‘We need an initial inquiry to find out what’s gone wrong so more drivers don’t die if there is a second wave of Covid-19 and we also need a public inquiry to see why bus drivers like my dad died and for the necessary parties to take accountability for that.’ 

Other staff members had to use scarves and swimming googles to protect themselves. 

On April 1, bus driver and church deacon Kenneth Yeboah died from coronavirus.

On April 7, London bus driver Mervyn Kennedy, 67, died from Covid-19. His devastated family blamed a ‘lack of personal protective equipment’.

The dad-of-three, who had no underlying health conditions, was rushed to hospital with breathing difficulties and died the following day.

His daughter Ellen wrote on Facebook: ‘No more families need to grieve the loss of a loved one due to the lack of PPE.’

And the daughter of driver Ranjith Chandrapala, 64, called for a public inquiry into how the bus workers are protected.   

Mr Chandrapala died in May after driving the No 92 bus on the Ealing hospital route from the start of the crisis.

His daughter Leshie told the Guardian: ‘We need an initial inquiry to find out what’s gone wrong so more drivers don’t die if there is a second wave of Covid-19 and we also need a public inquiry to see why bus drivers like my dad died and for the necessary parties to take accountability for that.’


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