£6m to be spent on toilets for London bus drivers
Permanent toilets will be provided on 40 bus routes in London for drivers to use.
Bus drivers in London will have improved access to toilets under plans to provide more facilities on dozens of routes.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said £6 million will be spent to deliver permanent toilets along 40 routes which only have limited access or opening hours.
Temporary toilets have already been installed on routes that did not have any facilities, including arrangements for drivers to use local cafes or shops.
The mayor said: “It can’t be right that a bus driver can be stuck behind the wheel and not know where they can access a toilet.
“These men and women work hard keeping London moving at all hours so it’s vital that they are given the dignity of having access to a rest stop when they need it.
It’s vital (bus drivers) are given the dignity of having access to a rest stop when they need it Sadiq Khan
“I’ve worked hard to ensure that our 25,000 bus drivers are given a fair pay deal, and am now pleased that we can deliver another real improvement for the day-to-day working conditions.”
Unite official John Murphy said: “This announcement is excellent news for London’s bus drivers who will now have the basic dignity of knowing that they have access to a toilet while at work.
“Being denied access to a toilet is linked to a large number of serious illnesses and physical ailments.”
John Trayner, managing director of Go-Ahead London, said: “Today’s announcement is welcome as it means drivers do not have to worry about where they take a comfort break, thus ensuring they concentrate on their roadcraft and passenger engagement.”
AA president Edmund King said: “Whilst the extra investment in toilet facilities for bus drivers in London is a welcome relief, it does beg the question about facilities for their passengers and indeed other road users.
“Over the years many public toilets seem to have disappeared or been developed into coffee shops, wine bars, restaurants and even apartments.
“Traditionally, drivers would look to relieve themselves when they fill up their vehicles but the Petrol Retailers Association claims that from the end of 2008 to the end of 2015, the number of filling stations in the capital fell almost 10% from 606 to 548.
“This is a particular problem for older drivers or those suffering medical conditions such as enlarged prostate.”