London bus drivers are three times more likely to die from COVID-19, according to a report commissioned by TFL. The UCL Institute of Health Equity study, published in March went onto conclude:
‘Breathing problems appear to be a pre-existing issue reported by many London bus drivers, exacerbated in those self-reporting COVID-19 symptoms’.
Green party London Assembly member Caroline Russell said: “I was really concerned to see today’s worrying report on bus driver deaths from coronavirus. I note how many of these drivers already had breathing problems, which the infection worsened – this raises the question of whether drivers’ exposure to polluted air at work contributed to their underlying poor health…’
Recommendation 7 of the report advises: ‘In the longer term, air quality on London roads, to which bus drivers have particularly high levels of exposure, needs to be a priority for the Government and Mayor’.
The ULEZ extension in October may help, but does it go far enough? Not so, says Caroline: ‘The Mayor has acted to bring in the ULEZ, but he could have gone for an all-London approach instead of stopping short at the North and South Circulars’.