The death of a bus worker in Bristol has renewed calls for stricter hygiene measures across the bus industry.
Trade union Unite has called on the 'most stringent hygiene regime', after Martin Egan - who had worked for First Group in Bristol for 40 years - died from coronavirus.
United regional secretary for the south west, Steve Paddy paid tribute to Mr Egan saying:
“I would like to pay tribute to Martin Egan who was a dedicated and long-serving member of the Unite Bristol bus ‘family’.
"We offer sympathy and support to his relatives at this heart-breaking time for them.
“Unite continues to discuss with bus operators across the south west the issue of topping up furlough payments to 100 per cent.
"No worker should be disadvantaged as a result of measures taken to protect their health and well-being
“Our highest motivation as a union is the health safety and well-being of all workers and our communities.
"The government must do more to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and guarantee a safe working environment for all essential workers, of which bus drivers are a key category.”
First Group in Bristol has now introduced a number of safety measures, including face masks, daily gloves and screens on buses so drivers and passengers can better adhere to social distancing measures.
At the weekend it was confirmed that five bus workers in London died from coronavirus.
Unite national officer for passenger transport Bobby Morton said:
“The tragic and sad death of bus workers in London and Bristol reinforces the message for the need for the most stringent hygiene regime throughout the UK bus sector.
“Bus workers are in the key worker category helping keep the UK’s transport arteries open at this time of national emergency.
"Our officers are working ceaselessly to ensure that their working environments are the safest humanly possible.”