Croydon bus driver dies after contracting coronavirus

By Tara O’Connor, Local Democracy Reporter

A Croydon bus driver has died after testing positive for coronavirus.

Kofi Opoku, who was based at the Croydon bus garage and worked for Metrobus, died last week.

He was a member of Unite the union, which is now calling for stricter safety measures for London buses.

In the first wave of the pandemic at least 29 bus drivers died after catching Covid-19.

Unite wants assurances that all screens are properly installed and a review of cleaning regimes.

Unite lead officer for London buses John Murphy said: “The death of Kofi Opoku is a terrible reminder of the horrible human cost of Covid-19. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.

“With infection rates rising swiftly and the knowledge we have gained from the first wave, it is absolutely essential that all these safety measures are introduced to protect bus drivers and their passengers.

“During the first lockdown London bus drivers played a vital role in keeping the capital moving, and for that too many paid the ultimate price.

“Significant safety procedures have been already introduced, but action needs to be taken to reinforce those measures.”

Claire Mann, TfL’s director of bus operations, said that the organisation has worked with Unite to improve safety and is doing “everything humanly possible” to protect transport workers and customers.

She said: “Our thoughts are with the friends and family of Kofi Opoku at this awful time.

“All bus operators have safety measures in place, which includes a relentless focus on cleaning and the introduction of long-lasting anti-viral cleaning fluid.

“To give drivers extra reassurance this is happening, we will carry out inspections at sites where concerns are raised.”

Pictured top: The Metrobus garage in Beddington Lane


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