Unite has renewed its calls for better protection of bus drivers after Youtube footage emerged of a driver being attacked with a firework.
The attack occurred last weekend on the 390 route in York Way in London. A group of youths fired a firework into the bus which directly hit the drivers cab before ricocheting around the bus.
On the previous day on the same 390 route, a knife fight between two rival gangs occurred while the bus was in motion.
In a separate incident in Alperton a female passenger on a bus narrowly escaped injury but her bag was burnt, after a firework was thrown onto a bus.
The recent incidents have once again demonstrated the highly stressful nature of bus driving. The stress suffered by bus drivers was recently highlighted in the London Assembly’s report ‘Driven to Distraction’.
The London Assembly set Transport for London a deadline of the end of this month to fully respond to the report’s recommendations. Unite has also produced a 10 Point Bill of Rights which builds on the findings of ‘Driven to Distraction’.
“This attack on a bus driver is simply outrageous; if there had not been a protective screen on the cab they would have suffered a serious injury,” said Unite regional officer John Murphy.
“The police and Transport for London need to take a zero tolerance approach to these types of attacks and those involved need to be convicted for these cowardly and potentially lethal attacks,” he added.
“The latest incidents highlight the highly stressful nature of bus driving and the ‘Driven to Distraction’ report needs to be fully implemented as a minimum to reduce the stress faced by drivers and to ensure they are treated by their employer with the respect they deserve.”