Unite demand bus drivers are protected and treated wit...

Unite demands bus drivers are protected and treated with dignity after firework attack

19 October 2017

Unite, the UK’s largest union, has renewed its calls for better protection of bus drivers after Youtube footage emerged of a driver being attacked with a firework.

The attack occurred last weekend on the 390 route in York Way in London. A group of youths fired a firework into the bus which directly hit the drivers cab before ricocheting around the bus.

On the previous day on the same 390 route, a knife fight between two rival gangs occurred while the bus was in motion.

In a separate incident in Alperton a female passenger on a bus narrowly escaped injury but her bag was burnt, after a firework was thrown onto a bus.

The recent incidents have once again demonstrated the highly stressful nature of bus driving. The stress suffered by bus drivers was recently highlighted in the London Assembly’s report ‘Driven to Distraction’.

The London Assembly set Transport for London a deadline of the end of this month to fully respond to the report’s recommendations. Unite has also produced a 10 Point Bill of Rights which builds on the findings of ‘Driven to Distraction’.

Unite regional officer John Murphy, said: “This attack on a bus driver is simply outrageous, if there had not been a protective screen on the cab they would have suffered a serious injury.

“The police and Transport for London need to take a zero tolerance approach to these types of attacks and those involved need to be convicted for these cowardly and potentially lethal attacks.

“The latest incidents, highlight the highly stressful nature of bus driving and the ‘Driven to Distraction’ report needs to be fully implemented as a minimum to reduce the stress faced by drivers and to ensure they are treated by their employer with the respect they deserve.”


Notes to editors:

The footage is available at:

Driven to Distraction report found that bus workers were under considerable stress, had shortened rest breaks, were denied toilet facilities and had to work enforced overtime.

Unite’s Bill of Rights includes: the right to drive a safe and well-maintained vehicle, the right to report safety concerns without the fear of retribution, the right when seriously ill not to be harassed into coming into work until fit to do so, the right to relevant safety training, the right to drive without being forced to answer radio messages and texts from controllers while driving and the right to be treated with dignity and respect by employers, TfL and the public.

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.