A bus driver has described his daily fear of going to work at an Orpington depot which has become a "breeding ground" for coronavirus.

The driver, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims social distancing and rigorous hygiene measures are not being enforced at Go-Ahead's Green Street Green garage, where around 80 drivers are already off work sick.

Staff are allegedly gathering in small rooms, travelling on cramped ferry vehicles and driving unclean buses without gloves or masks.

The driver said: "The mood in our garage is the lowest it can possibly be, as it is clear that Go-Ahead are more interested in profits than saving lives.

"Due to saving money and lack of vehicles, sometimes our ferry vehicles have up to six people in them, which is not adhering to the two-metre distancing.

"Also our lunch breaks are taken in small cramped rooms, with sometimes up to 12 people. We have no gloves, no masks and the buses are not cleaned properly.

"When we sign on to start our duty they are still allowing large numbers of us in one small area.

"We have approximately 80 drivers off work at the moment due to this virus (either they have symptoms, or under lying health conditions).

"Some of us live with elderly parents and partners."

The driver said in one instance, he travelled on a ferry vehicle with three other staff members, one of whom was taken ill with coronavirus symptoms later that day.

None of the drivers were allegedly informed of this by the company, meaning they went home to their families unaware of the risk they potentially posed.

He added: "Our management are not helpful and are badly educated on this virus as one said, and I quote. 'It's OK to have that many people in the ferry bus as its only for 15 minutes, you can't catch it that quick.'"

Go-Ahead is the largest bus company in London, providing nearly a quarter of the capital's services.

The Government today announced it would cover the losses of bus companies over the next three months, which have seen huge falls in bus use, with passenger numbers and revenues down by about 90%.

Go-Ahead boss David Brown said the government funding package was "crucial" to ensure the company could provide essential services for key-workers.

A Go-Ahead London spokesperson said: “These are exceptional times and workplace coronavirus-related concerns are understandable.

"Safety is the company’s number one priority and it takes its responsibilities in this regard with the utmost seriousness.

"Go-Ahead London therefore refutes any suggestion that Orpington Garage is a so-called coronavirus “breeding ground”.

"In close co-operation with colleagues and the trade union, the company has introduced enhanced vehicle and workplace cleaning in recent weeks, plus active social distancing measures, as part of a wider safety strategy.

"Go-Ahead London is additionally following Government, Public Health England and World Health Organisation advice, and reviewing it daily.

"The Government’s furlough scheme is for when people are not required and would otherwise be laid off, which is not the case in this instance.

"London’s buses continue to transport a significant number of key workers and vulnerable people.

"The company is very mindful of the important job its workforce is undertaking at this difficult time and would like to thank them, while also paying tribute to their dedicated professionalism.”