A BUS driver who lost his dad and grandad to Covid 19 has quit his job after claiming the cleaning of his vehicles was not up to scratch.

But Swindon’s Bus Company has strongly denied his claims and says buses are cleaned regularly with anti-viral wipes.

Phil Manning, from Walcot, drove for the company for seven years but said he had to leave after he took his own wipes around a bus and was shocked by the dirt he found.

In a picture sent to the Adver, Phil showed the amount of dirt he had cleaned up in his bus.

The 42-year-old said: “Every time a driver gets in, we clean the cab with the wipes they’ve give us.

“I was on a break in Middle Wichel and thought I’d have a wipe around all the poles and things like that.

“I went down the side of the windows in the seating and that was the dirt in those areas despite them advertising that it’s clean and safe. It’s clearly not.

“Drivers are doing what we’re told but we were told that we didn’t need to do anything by the seats because it’s done at night.

“They probably have done that but the buses are still dirty and full of rubbish.”

Phil added: “During this pandemic I’ve lost two family members, I was on the furlough scheme for eight weeks because I have a child who had to be shielded.

“When I went back to work, things had been put in place and it’s something they’ve never dealt with before.

“They’ve put up a shower curtain to protect the driver which is a health and safety issue. When you open the window in the cab it flaps around which is a distraction.

“All my general manager said to me was 'would you rather have heat or get Covid-19?'.

“Obviously, I don’t want to go the same way as my grandad or dad do I?”

Phil eventually left the company after telling bosses he wasn’t comfortable with the level of cleaning and didn’t feel safe.

He added: “I loved my job but I’m not putting my family at risk. I’d rather be unemployed.”

Swindon’s Bus Company denies the claims that the buses aren’t cleaned and questioned if Phil’s picture was legitimate.

General manager Alex Chutter said: “I'm saddened by these comments, which have been made by a driver who is no longer a member of our team. It is not known where the wipes in the photograph were used.

“We have stringent bus cleaning structures in place, including extra focus on touch points, which are regularly treated during the day with anti-viral wipes.

"We are due to introduce extra on-board facilities to complement these measures, including hand sanitisers for customers to use, as well as appointed cleaners on Fleming Way to clean buses while in service, without causing delay to our customers journeys.

“Having provided bus services continuously throughout the coronavirus crisis, I'm proud of how hard my colleagues have worked, day and night, to ensure buses are sterile and ready for those who travel with us.

“Since the very start, we have equipped our drivers with screens, multiple options of face coverings, wipes for their cabs and controls, individual bottles of hand sanitiser, gloves, disposable bags, and more, to keep them and our passengers safe.

"As always we ask our customers to remain stringent with their own cleanliness routines.

“Just recently, Swindon’s Bus Company received the industry standard mark We’re Good to Go, which recognises our efforts to implement cleaning and social distancing measures for all our staff and customers.

“Last week, the government announced that people can now travel by bus for any reason, whether for work or play.

"We have been looking forward to welcoming our loyal customers back on-board for some time, and our buses are ready-and-waiting to provide a safe, efficient and environmentally-friendly mode of transport for those living and working in Swindon.”