Unite, which represents workers throughout public transport including over 80,000 bus workers is warning that a ‘second spike’ in Covid-19 infections is becoming ever more likely due to increasing non-compliance of face covering and social distancing rules on public transport.
Unite issued its warning today (June 26) after transport secretary Grant Shapps announced that bus and rail timetables will return to 85 per cent of normal services in early July.
However Unite is increasingly concerned that the rules on wearing masks/face coverings and maintaining social distancing on public transport are frequently being flouted, which dramatically increases the risk of infection.
Only the police have the power to fine someone for flouting the rules on face coverings. It is responsibility of bus operators to prevent overcrowding and to order passengers not following the rules to leave a vehicle.
Unite national officer for public transport Bobby Morton said, “Unite members are increasingly reporting the rules on face coverings and social distancing on public transport, especially buses, are being flouted.
“With the frequency of public transport increasing and passenger numbers rising, the danger of a second spike will be greatly increased, unless decisive action is taken to ensure the rules are followed,” he added.
“It is not the role of bus drivers, nor do they have the power, to deny someone to board a bus, due to not wearing a face covering.
“The failure of bus operators and the police to deal with this increasing problem is potentially risking the health of bus workers and passengers and could have disastrous consequences for the nation’s public health.”
By Barckley Sumner