A NUMBER of bus drivers are reportedly unhappy with the protective measures that have been put in place against coronavirus, The Northern Echo understands.

Bus drivers working for Go North East are alleged to have been restricted to just one 'antibacterial wipe' per driver, which is accessed at the beginning of their shift.

However, Go North East bosses have since said they had suffered a short supply of antibacterial wipes due to reasons which had been beyond their control.

One person, who wishes to remain anonymous, said antibacterial wipes appeared "rationed" while there were not enough hand sanitisers being made available to staff.

They said: "There's just one packet of wipes and drivers have been told they are to take one wipe to clean over the bus."

On social media, one person said: "Send your vulnerable drivers home. Giving them (bus drivers) 'one' out of date antibacterial wipe isn't going to protect anyone.

"They're our parents, wives, husbands, children and they're at risk."

Go North East previously said it was following advice from Public Health England and had been implementing "extensive cleaning regimes" across its fleet of buses.

However, one disgruntled passenger claimed he had not seen any "evidence" of increased sanitation in between a driver swapover and raised concerns.

He said: "Just been on one of your buses, really no evidence of any increased sanitation drivers changed over they didn't wipe even the steering wheels. Very poor."

'Problems with supply'

In response, Stephen King commercial director at Go North East, told The Northern Echo: "Like other organisations across the region sanitisers and antibacterial wipes have been in short supply, but we have now addressed that."

A Go North East statement regarding COVID-19 said: "We know that there are concerns about the current situation and we would like to reassure you that the safety and wellbeing of our customers and colleagues is our number one priority.

"Public Health England has advised that public transport is the same as any other public space, and the current Government advice is that people are able to continue to use public transport as they go about their lives.

"We are continuing to follow Public Heath England advice and will continue to run our services as normal in support of our community, particularly critical sector workers including teachers, nurses and retail staff, as the region pulls together to deal with the situation.

"We are continuing with our extensive cleaning regimes to maintain high levels of hygiene for passengers to protect the health and wellbeing of customers and colleagues, additionally focusing and increasing activity on high-touch areas such as hand poles."