Bristol

Coronavirus: 'Respected' Bristol bus driver dies

First Bus at Bristol Harbour Image copyright First Group
Image caption Martin Egan had last driven a bus in Bristol on 13 March

A "hugely respected" Bristol bus driver has died after contracting coronavirus, his employer has said.

Martin Egan, who had driven buses in the city for the past 40 years, died on Saturday and had been ill with the virus for a fortnight.

First West of England said staff who had come into contact with Mr Egan were now self-isolating.

James Freeman, the company's managing director, said he was passing on the news "with a heavy heart".

"Martin was a hugely respected member of our team and I know this will be devastating news for his colleagues and customers that got to know him over the years," said Mr Freeman.

A company spokesman said Mr Egan "had an exemplary health record" and had not taken a day off for sickness in six years.

He was a regular driver on the City Line routes covering east Bristol - the number six, seven, 42, 43, 44 and 45 services.

'Regular cleaning'

"Any passengers who think they might have encountered Mr Egan and are concerned about their health should follow the current NHS instructions about self-isolating," the spokesman said.

"We are cleaning our buses regularly including all touch points such as hand rails, seat rails, buttons and windows.

"All our drivers are behind protective screens.

"Unlike many companies we cannot shut down during this crisis and we are keeping up the vital service of taking key workers to and from their places of work."

Mr Egan had last driven a bus in Bristol on 13 March and First staff who had come into contact with him have been self-isolating, the spokesman added.

Mr Egan started working at Bristol's Muller Road depot in 1980 before moving to the Lawrence Hill hub in the east of the city.

Mr Freeman said: "His presence around the depot will be greatly missed."

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