The Question What to do about food delivery road hogs?
You’re heading home from work and thinking you might just order dinner on the app and have it delivered to your home. You look up from your phone to see a cyclist bearing down on you in the middle of the footpath at full tilt, wearing giant headphones and looking down at their phone, oblivious to all around them. You leap out of the way, almost knocking over an old lady, and end up on the ground with the contents of your briefcase all over the street. By the time you pick yourself up, the cyclist is already fading into the distance, but you can clearly make out one word on their back pannier: Deliveroo.
Councillors in the capital are up in arms over what they call “reckless” behaviour by cyclists working for food delivery companies such as Deliveroo and Just Eat. In their rush to get fresh, hot food to their customers, cyclists are riding roughshod over the rules of the road, say councillors, going on footpaths, breaking lights, cycling down one-way streets and generally being a menace to, well, everyone.
“Many of these delivery services are whizzing around town in a reckless fashion, they don’t abide by any laws, are constantly on their phones or sat navs to find the locations while cycling, and are a danger to themselves and to the road users and footpath users alike,” said Independent councillor Mannix Flynn.
Dublin City Council has got so het-up about the situation, it has written to the managing directors of both Deliveroo and Just Eat, urging them to rein in their delivery cyclists before someone gets hurt, or someone’s dinner ends up under a bus.
Deliveroo responded to the council, assuring it that the company has a “zero tolerance policy” for reckless riders, and that it provides online training in road safety to all cyclists it contracts. “Deliveroo takes rider and road safety extremely seriously,” said a spokesman for the company, which delivers food from about 600 restaurants in Dublin.
The company has helpfully suggested that if the council could provide information that would help it identify a specific offender, it would investigate. Some might argue this is akin to a beekeeper saying: “Point out which bee stung you, and I’ll have it punished.”
Looks like there won’t be any backpedalling on this issue, so until this is resolved, add delivery cyclists to the ever-lengthening list of road hazards in the city centre.