News, Culture & Society

Ten London public transport workers including EIGHT bus drivers have died of coronavirus

A total of 10 public transport workers in London have now died of coronavirus, Sadiq Khan has confirmed.

Eight of the victims were bus workers, one worked for TFL and another worked for the London Underground.

One of the bus drivers has been named online as Shaheed Norman Rashid.  

The Mayor of London revealed more than 25,000 people are still working for Transport for London. 

He told Sky News today: ‘They are in my thoughts and prayers and my condolences to their families.

One of the bus drivers has been named online as Shaheed Norman Rashid after his family paid tribute to him

‘It reminds us that one of the heroic frontline workers are transport workers.’ 

One of Shaheed’s relatives posted a tribute on Facebook, saying: ‘He was working during this whole corona pandemic.

‘He was the number 8 bus driver, helping other key workers get to work, risking his own life so others can go to work and bring food to the table.

‘I want people to recognise him as a hero as well as NHS staff and all frontline key workers like police, firefighters, doctors and nurses.

‘We lost a gem in our family. A gem that will never be found again.

‘Norman, you will be missed by everyone that you met. Your smile lit up the room.

‘Caring, kind and warm are just some of the words I can find to describe you.’

A total of 10 public transport workers in London have now died of coronavirus, Sadiq Khan has confirmed (file image)

A total of 10 public transport workers in London have now died of coronavirus, Sadiq Khan has confirmed (file image)

The news comes as London commuters are sill having to contend with overcrowded tubes and stations despite the lockdown.

Only key workers and those who are unable to work at home are supposed to be travelling across London during this period.

Khan has been criticised for running a reduced Underground service, effectively forcing commuters to cram in together, but he has instead blamed people taking unnecessary journeys. 

He said: ‘We’ve got 25,000 bus drivers, more than 25,000 people working for Transport for London doing their best to keep public transport running for those essential key workers who need public transport to get from home to work and back home again – the NHS, those who work in our shops in the food sector, police, firefighters.

Sadiq Khan has been criticised for running a reduced Underground service, effectively forcing commuters to cram in together

Sadiq Khan has been criticised for running a reduced Underground service, effectively forcing commuters to cram in together

‘My key message to everyone is unless you really, really have to use public transport to get to work or back home, stay at home, work from home, and if you have to use public transport please avoid the rush hour.’ 

Record numbers of TfL and London Underground staff are off work either because they themselves have Covid-19 or they are having to self-isolate.

But nearly 90 per cent of London’s buses and more than 55 per cent of Tubes are still running. 

On social media, one commuter tweeted a picture of a busy Seven Sisters Station, saying: ‘Are all these people key workers? Why is this still allowed? I’m so angry!’

Key workers are being forced to take crowded journeys across the capital even though few are meant to be taking public transport

Key workers are being forced to take crowded journeys across the capital even though few are meant to be taking public transport

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has been criticised for running a reduced Underground service, effectively forcing commuters to cram in together

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has been criticised for running a reduced Underground service, effectively forcing commuters to cram in together

Another key worker said: ‘We are ashamed that our city doesn’t care about us.’ 

It comes as rail union Aslef is demanding that London Underground drivers are provided with masks and gloves to help protect them from the virus. 

Aslef official Finn Brennan said: ‘Every day brings fresh news of friends, family members and colleagues being struck down by this terrible virus. 

‘Unlike politicians and managers, frontline transport staff can not work from home. Everything possible must be done to protect their safety.

‘Tube drivers and other TfL staff are risking their own health and that of their families by leaving home to provide transport for vital staff.

‘By refusing to close non-essential workplaces, the Government is endangering their safety and that of other key workers who rely on public transport.’

Tube drivers must be provided with masks, gloves and instructions on how to use them safely, said Aslef.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk