London bus driver spat at after asking passenger to wear mask

London bus driver spat at after asking passenger to wear mask
Although national mask laws now lapsed, Transport for London still demands face coverings

Police are investigating after a London bus driver was spat at by a passenger when he asked the man to put a mask on.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police have released an image of a man they wish to question in relation to the incident, which took place on Friday evening.

Around 10.40pm, a man boarded a number 83 bus near Wembley, in north-west London. The driver asked him to put on a mask as he got on the bus, which he said he would do.

However, when he sat down on the top deck, he failed to cover his face, leading the driver to tell him shortly afterwards if he did not put a mask on he would have to get off the bus.

The Met said the man then became angry and shouted at the driver, before spitting in his direction, hitting the glass on the front door of the vehicle.

PC Matt Cannon, from the force’s Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “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.

“Any assault against a driver doing their job is unacceptable, but spitting, given the threat posed by Covid-19 and what we know about how it is transmitted, is particularly appalling.

“We have been pursuing alternative lines of inquiry to identify this man, but so far it has not been possible to locate him. I’m hopeful the public hold the key to finding out who and where he is.”

Although there are no longer any national laws requiring masks on public transport, Transport for London has continued to require them as part of its “condition of carriage” when using its service, including buses.

Anyone who can help identify the man shown in the footage should call the Met on 101, providing the reference 1908495/21.