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EXPECTING bus drivers to handle cash during the coronavirus pandemic “is a killer,” a Unite official warned today.
The union’s national officer for passenger transport Bobby Morton said that the workers are “absolutely terrified” of being infected.
Mr Morton told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I’m hearing, on an hourly, daily basis, horrific stories.
“I’ve already received three calls this morning from drivers who are absolutely terrified for their lives.
“They’re sitting at the sharp end, they’re dealing with cash — particularly in [north-west England] — and the virus can be passed on to them in a second.
“It’s OK saying ‘wash your hands regularly in hot water:’ if there are no facilities to do it, you don’t do it.”
Bus operators have introduced a series of measures aimed at improving safety, such as discouraging the use of seats near the driver and covering speaking holes in drivers’ protective screens.
But Mr Morton said that all of the changes being implemented “merely reduce the risk” of infection when “the risk should be eradicated.”
Labour’s shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon said: “The government has acknowledged transport workers don’t have enough personal protective equipment yet have done nothing.
“The government must give clear guidance and do more to protect these key workers now.”
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