Give transport workers PPE now, says cross-party group

The Liberal Democrats are leading a cross-party effort to ensure Ministers renew guidelines and urgently upscale PPE for all transport workers in preparation for exiting the government enforced lockdown.

Writing to the Transport Secretary and the Mayor of London, the cross-party group of parliamentarians have warned there have been too many reports of workers “taking matters into their own hands” by making their own face masks disinfecting buses and carriages themselves.

In London alone, at least 26 transport workers have died from Covid-19 since the outbreak began. Thousands of health and social care workers – essential workers – rely on transport workers to get to and from work.

Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson and Richmond MP, Sarah Olney, coordinated the letter. She said: “The Coronavirus crisis is an unprecedented threat. No one should have to fear that their livelihood could put them at death’s door, but sadly across the country that is a reality for many transport workers. They deserve better.

“Liberal Democrats are therefore calling on the Government to renew guidelines and urgently upscale PPE for all transport workers, who are doing their job to keep our NHS going, in preparation for exiting the government enforced lockdown.”

Siobhan Benita, Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor, added: “Transport workers are on the frontline of the Coronavirus, with many of our health and social care workers in the city depending on them to get to work. But they are not getting the protection they need.  It’s desperately sad that at least 26 transport workers have lost their lives in London and many more are feeling anxious and unsafe.

Siobhan Benita

“As the Government increases its stock of PPE, transport workers must be next in line for protective equipment. And the Mayor must ensure that guidelines are being enforced at all levels, including by bus operating companies, where there have been widespread reports of failings. These are challenging times, but we must do all we can to keep all of our key workers safe.”

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