Report 7/2020
London Bus Drivers Review by Michael Marmot, Peter Goldblatt, Joana Morrison

London Bus Drivers Review

.pdfLondon Bus Drivers Review
Summary

Death rates from COVID-19 among bus drivers in London exceeded death rates for London as a whole in the majority of weeks from early April to early May.

Bus and coach drivers are among the occupations that ONS reported as having elevated mortality from COVID-19. Many of these occupations also have increased levels of exposure to the general public. It seems likely that this exposure has contributed to the increased risk. To the extent possible, it is important to separate occupational exposure from other influences on bus drivers. Additional risks of COVID-19 related mortality for bus drivers include: age, living in areas characterised by deprivation, having a high proportion of members of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups; and the presence of underlying health conditions – hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes – which are associated with increased likelihood that infection with COVID-19 becomes fatal.

It is impossible at this stage to establish which of these risks is greatest, but there is evidence that among bus drivers those aged 65 and over, those from BAME backgrounds and those with pre-existing hypertension are at higher risk of Covid-19 mortality and this should be taken into account in efforts by TfL and bus companies to reduce risks.