- in Environment
A London bus driver has said she is “frightened to die” and begged the government to do more to help protect transport staff.
Lorraine, 62, who covers south London routes, said she had written letters to relatives in fear she “could not say goodbye” if she contracted the virus.
Eighteen London transport staff, including 12 bus workers, have died after contracting Covid-19 so far.
The Mayor of London said “everything was being done to keep workers safe”.
In a video posted online, Lorraine said she wanted her children and family to have the letters as she “is put at risk by Transport for London (TfL) for not providing a safe working environment.”
“I am proud to drive a London bus, I’m proud to do my job, I’m proud to get front line services to their place of work to help people. That’s why I’m still driving,” she said.
“But I’m frightened. I’m frightened that I’m going to die, because nobody in government, [Sadiq] Khan, TfL, will not listen to us.”
Lorraine added that more needed to be done about those “roaming the streets”.
“I’ve had people day after after day get on my bus for no reason, putting me at risk,” she said.
“It’s not fair. My life matters, if it doesn’t matter to anybody else it matters to my family.”
Mr Khan said: “There are clearly issues in the supply of PPE, with hospitals and care homes reporting shortages.
“But I’ve also asked TfL to look into the availability of PPE stock for transport workers, in case advice from public health experts changes.”
Public Health England’s current advice is that PPE should only be used in care settings.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said transport staff should stop working if they were not provided with adequate safety equipment.
TfL said an enhanced anti-viral cleaning regime had been launched across the network and protective films applied to the screens of bus driver cabs.