The passenger allegedly became angry after the driver reiterated his request for him to put on a face mask, before spitting in his direction. Police have now launched an investigation into the incident
Image: Metropolitan Police / SWNS.COM)
Police are investigating after an enraged passenger yelled and spat at a London bus driver who asked him to put a mask on.
The man boarded a number 83 bus near Wembley around 10.40pm, officers said.
As he got on the bus, the driver asked him to put on a mask, which he said he would do.
However, he allegedly failed to cover his face while sitting down on the top deck, prompting the driver to tell him that he would have to leave the bus unless he complied.
The man then became angry and shouted at the driver, before spitting in his direction, police said.
The spit hit the glass on the front door of the vehicle, they claimed.
Officers have now released a CCTV image of a man they wish to speak to about the incident on Friday evening.
PC Matt Cannon, from the force’s Roads and Transport Policing Command, said any assault against a driver doing this job was “unacceptable”.
He went on: “Bus drivers have worked throughout the pandemic at great risk to themselves, providing an essential service to key workers and others who rely on public transport to get around.
“Spitting, given the threat posed by Covid-19 and what we know about how it is transmitted, is particularly appalling.”
PC Cannon said police had been pursuing alternative lines of inquiry to identify the man, but had so far not been possible to locate him.
“I’m hopeful the public hold the key to finding out who and where he is,” he said.
While there are no longer any national laws requiring masks on public transport, TfL has continued to mandate them as part of its “condition of carriage”.
Mr Khan said: “I’ve repeatedly made clear that the simplest and safest option would have been for the Government to retain the national requirement for face coverings on public transport.
“I’m not prepared to stand by and put Londoners, and our city’s recovery, at risk.
“This is why, after careful consideration, I have decided to ask TfL to retain the requirement for passengers to wear a face covering on all TfL services when the national regulations change.”
He added: “By keeping face masks mandatory we will give Londoners and visitors the reassurance and confidence to make the most of what our city has to offer, while also protecting our heroic transport workers and those who may be vulnerable and rely on the network to get around our city.”