London transport workers to die with covid tops 100 in ‘devastating milestone’

·2-min read
TfL covid memorial (TfL)
TfL covid memorial (TfL)

The number of London transport workers to die with covid has increased to 102, it was revealed today.

Transport for London commissioner Andy Byford said the “devastating milestone” of passing 100 deaths had affected the entire organisation.

Mayor Sadiq Khan, whose late father used to drive the 44 bus, told the TfL board meeting on Wednesday: “As the son of a bus driver this is deeply personal to me. I can’t help but think how it could have been my dad or his colleagues or friends.”

Mr Byford said there had been 10 deaths since the TfL board last met in July.

He said: “It is a devastating milestone that we never wanted to reach. We were dreading hitting that 100 milestone, and sure enough we did.

“In fact, 10 colleagues have been lost due to the pandemic since we last met, which is indeed devastating for the whole organisation.

“These are wonderful human beings. They were people who rose to the challenge and stepped up and carried on through the pandemic, and they paid the ultimate price. They are people we will never forget.”

The number includes TfL employees, London bus drivers who are employed by bus companies and contractors working for TfL.

Last week TfL announced plans for a memorial to transport workers lost in the pandemic.

Sadiq Khan is accompanied by key workers as he opens the London covid memorial garden (Getty Images)
Sadiq Khan is accompanied by key workers as he opens the London covid memorial garden (Getty Images)

This will be separate to the London memorial garden at the Olympic park, and is due to open next summer on a pedestrian plaza in Braham Street, Aldgate. A planning application has been submitted to Tower Hamlets council.

Mr Byford said TfL continued to take “every possible precaution” to minimise the risk of covid on the transport network.

Pop-up vaccination clinics have been set up for TfL staff to obtain the Pfizer jab.

However the Government decision to decriminalise the failure to wear a face mask on the Tube and buses has angered the Mayor and made it impossible to enforce.

More than 20,000 Londoners who died since January last year had covid mentioned on their death certificate.

Yesterday the Office for National Statistics said there had been 56 covid deaths in the capital in the week to October 8, down from 102 in the previous seven days and London’s lowest weekly death toll since the end of July.

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