A COVID-19 outbreak amongst west Cumbrian bus drivers has been confirmed by Stagecoach.

A number of positive coronavirus tests from Stagecoach drivers have been received with more employees self-isolating.

Although the drivers are based at the Lillyhall depot in Workington, services include those to and from Carlisle and the Lake District.

A spokesperson for Stagecoach said: “The safety and well-being of our employees and customers is our first priority and we have strict protocols in place around the management of Covid-19.

“We currently have a small number of confirmed cases of coronavirus amongst our employees in Cumbria which are not linked.”

The company insists that appropriate measures are in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus amongst staff and customers.

“We are taking all the necessary steps and following the health authority protocols to manage this.”

The spokesperson added: “We will continue to follow all of the government and health organisation rules and guidance in place to manage the virus.”

Cumbria County Council cabinet member for highways and transport Keith Little said: “I’m sure Stagecoach will be taking all the necessary precautions.

"Drivers wear face masks and in some cases are behind protective screens.”

He added that although Stagecoach has put measures in place, employees lead their own lives outside of work.

“Whether they were infected when working on the buses, I’d suggest probably not.”

Public transport services have been running on limited capacity since being reopened to the public in July.

“They are limiting the number of people that can get on,” said Mr Little. "It’s not the easiest situation at all but I think the vast majority of the travelling public do follow the necessary precautions."

“Within Cumbria County Council we transport many young people to school and where they aren’t able to travel on dedicated buses, we have now made other arrangements.”