A TOWN councillor from Tidworth has urged passengers to only travel on buses in Hampshire if the journey is essential.

Cllr David Wright is concerned that bus drivers have limited personal protective equipment with only 45 minutes lunch break to wash their hands.

He wrote on the Tidworth Facebook page: “Drivers are still working 11 hour shifts and are doing 10 hours of driving with only one break – the only time they get to wash their hands. They can’t just nip to a sink whenever they want or need to.

“They have no PPE. If your journey really is essential, please smile and say thank you – you wouldn’t believe how much difference those two words will make to the driver’s day.

“These drivers are seeing their work mates get ill and are worrying about taking this horrible virus home to their families.”

He said buses now have protective screens but there is still “limited protection”.

“Hand sanitizers and gloves are provided but the lack of PPE is a real concern. People are making journeys that are not essential. Lots of people who are not essential workers are getting on buses.

“Drivers are self-isolating and have passed away in London and around the country. Bus companies have been giving bus drivers hand sanitizers since a week ago.

“We have to just get on with it, driving is our job. We have an important part to play,” he continued.

The Cllr stressed that he wants “people to stay at home” and only get on the bus if they need to.

He said there has been a dramatic decrease of people on buses, down to 15 per cent of what it used to be.

“I am worried that we are on the forefront and that drivers could catch coronavirus,” the Cllr added.