London will build a memorial to honour London transport workers who died with Covid-19.
Plans for the work show a space in the City of London featuring a plaque and benches next to a cherry blossom tree.
Transport for London (TfL), which says 98 of its staff have died from coronavirus, say the space will allow people to quietly reflect on the pandemic.
It hopes that the memorial will be completed by next summer.
The figure of nearly 100 dead workers does not include the capital’s taxi or private hire drivers but does account for those who worked on TfL services like the bus and Tube.
Perhaps the highest profile case is that of Belly Mujinga, a railway worker who was spat at by a man claiming to have Covid-19, before she died with the virus.
London mayor Sadiq Khan said: ‘I am devastated that 98 London transport workers have died from Covid, and each and every one of them will always be in my thoughts.
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‘As the son of a bus driver, this is deeply personal to me, and I can’t help but think how it could have been my dad or his colleagues or friends.
‘I hope that the new permanent memorial in the middle of our city will be a place where those that have lost loved ones will find solace, and be a reminder of the heroic key workers who have made it possible for us to come through the pandemic by keeping our city moving.’
The memorial will be situated on a pedestrianised section of Braham Street in Aldgate, near Aldgate Tube station.
TfL intends to submit a planning application to Tower Hamlets Council by early 2022, and hopes the site will be completed by that summer.
London’s transport commissioner, Andy Byford, added: ‘I would like to express my sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of all transport workers across London who have sadly lost their lives to coronavirus.
‘Their tragic loss is devastating for us all. We owe them our gratitude and this memorial will ensure that we never forget them.’
He continued: ‘I also want to personally thank all frontline staff on our bus, Tube and rail services who kept our city moving through the dark period through which London has come, the maintenance teams who kept the network safe, the taxi and private hire drivers who helped people continue to attend hospital appointments during the pandemic and all the cleaners who ensured the network is clean and safe to use.
‘Without you the city could not have got through the pandemic.’
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