Bus drivers ‘without toilet facilities’ on routes due to Covid-19 restrictions

Siptu says some services being delayed or cancelled as drivers forced to return to depots

Bus drivers have claimed that Covid-19 restrictions have left them without toilet facilities on their routes. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times.

Bus drivers have claimed that Covid-19 restrictions have left them without toilet facilities on their routes. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times.

 

Bus drivers have claimed that Covid-19 restrictions have left them without toilet facilities on their routes.

They said that having to return to depots to use toilet facilities had, on occasions, led to delays for passengers and even the cancellation of services.

Trade union Siptu on Monday delivered a letter to the National Transport Authority (NTA) at its offices in Dublin urging the provision of adequate and safe toilet facilities for workers who drive buses.

Siptu sector organiser John Murphy said the union had campaigned for several years for the provision of toilet facilities for bus drivers. He said that with the onset of Covid-19 this had now become “a serious health and safety issue”.

“The pandemic has resulted in many facilities, previously used by the women and men who drive our buses, being closed or unavailable due to the necessary restrictions imposed to contain the virus,” he said.

“The provision of such facilities lies firmly with the NTA and the public transport operators.”

Mr Murphy maintained that toilet facilities were a basic right that should be provided for all bus drivers.

“Siptu representatives are insisting this matter is addressed urgently. During the Covid-19 emergency these women and men have provided an excellent public service and deserve to be provided with facilities which will allow them to continue their work in a professional and safe manner.”

On foot of the calls by bus drivers for toilet facilities, a spokesman for the National Transport Authority said: “That is a matter for the bus drivers’ employers, but the National Transport Authority will consider any proposals that come forward from the transport operators.”