More than 100 TfL workers died from Covid, figures reveal

·2-min read
Mervyn Kennedy died with Covid-19
Mervyn Kennedy died with Covid-19

More than 100 members of TfL staff have died of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, figures have revealed.

A total of 105 TfL employees died of Covid between March 2020 and May 2022, including 23 members of staff on the Tube network and 75 on the bus network.

Two employees at TfL’s head office also died of Covid while five members of partner organisations such as cleaning or security staff also sadly died of the virus.

Black and Asian members of staff made up almost 60 per cent of all Covid deaths on the TfL network, while men made up 100 of the 105 deaths.

The figures were revealed by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan following a written question from Conservative London Assembly Member Keith Prince.

In his response to Mr Prince’s question, Mr Khan said: “Every death in service is taken very seriously by TfL. TfL has put in place a range of additional support for families and colleagues where there has been a bereavement.”

TfL introduced a range of measures in 2020 to prevent staff members contracting Covid, such as installing protective screens on buses and preventing passengers from boarding at the front.

But a study by University College London found that many of the interventions were introduced too late, and that an earlier national lockdown could have saved the lives of many London bus drivers.

Among the 105 London transport workers who have died of Covid-19 are Mervyn “Mally” Kennedy, a bus driver and father of three who died shortly after his 67th birthday in 2020, and Emeka Nyack Iheanacho, a 36-year-old bus driver from Holloway who died of Covid shortly after the first lockdown was imposed.

A lack of proper personal protective equipment was to blame for Mr Kennedy’s death, according to one of his daughters - a paediatric nurse at Lewisham hospital.

Mr Kennedy and Mr Iheanacho will be among the 105 transport workers commemorated at a new memorial in Aldgate which is set to open this summer.

TfL revealed the design for a memorial to all London transport workers lost during the Covid pandemic in October 2021.

TfL Commissioner Andy Byford said: "On behalf of everyone at TfL, I would like to express our sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of all transport workers across London who have sadly lost their lives to coronavirus. Their tragic loss is devastating for us all, and we remember their service to the network with gratitude. Every death in service is taken very seriously by TfL. We have put in place a range of additional support measures for families and colleagues where there has been a bereavement and we are working on a permanent memorial that will be completed by later this year to help pay tribute to the critical role transport workers played in London’s fight against the global pandemic."

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