Calls for crackdown on rogue food deliverers

foodsUBEREATS, Deliveroo, Foodora and Dominos have been asked to account for the dangerous cycling of their armies of food deliverers.

ROGUE food deliverers have been called to task over dangerous riding as they rush from job to job.

The City of Sydney council has called in representatives from major companies and continues to receive ongoing complaints about food delivery services.

As the number of food deliverers continues to grow, riders have been spotted flouting the law and endangering pedestrians by cycling on footpaths and riding on the wrong side of the road.

In the year to June, the City received 10 official complaints about rider behaviour.

Meanwhile, SafeWork NSW has investigated one incident and two complaints involving food delivery cyclists in the last two years.

City of Sydney CEO Monica Barone and Cycling Strategy Manager Fiona Campbell recently met UberEats, Deliveroo, Foodora and Dominos Pizza to discuss safe riding and the importance of pedestrian safety.

A City spokesman said it had recommended sending riders to a City cycling course which teaches road rules, skills and techniques to become a “safe, considerate rider”.

Liberal councillor Christine Forster proposed a motion at last month’s council meeting urging City staff to request delivery services educate their employees on pedestrian and cyclist safety and road rules. She also called for City rangers to take action on cyclists illegally using footpaths. The motion was knocked back.

“It is the basic responsibility of council to ensure that as we see increasing numbers of cyclists on the road to do what we can to ensure they get the right training on what’s required,” Cr Forster said.

The City’s cycling courses should be a basic requirement for food service deliverers, she said.

A former deliverer also called for improved training within the industry.

Newtown local and owner of King St bike shop, Hell on Wheels, Tom Boorman said he would have liked to have seen safety checks and better training.

“When I signed up they were just accumulating riders as quickly as possible to spread out the service ASAP but people were just getting on some people’s bikes that were really unsafe,” he said.

Mr Boorman, who worked as a Deliveroo food deliverer for more than 12 months said City cycling courses should be required “as the bare minimum”.

While Mr Boorman chalked up a relatively positive experience to his strong cycling skills and knowledge of the local area, he said this was not always the case for other riders who were often unfamiliar with road rules.

Mr Boorman said the training he received from Deliveroo was a short video based on the UK model which advised riders to “obey the road rules”, and two practice rides.

Safety lights were handed out, but some riders chose not to replace the batteries and rode around on near defective bikes.

“Riding on the wrong side of the road with no lights, I’m genuinely amazed no one has been really hurt,” he said.

Cycling infrastructure and Sydney’s hazardous road conditions made the environment even worse, Mr Boorman said.

Sometimes riders were forced onto the footpath to avoid being in danger.

Mr Boorman was car-doored while on duty on King St earlier this year, resulting in significant injuries from which he is still recovering.

A Deliveroo spokeswoman said riders are required to undergo an “onboarding” process which includes modules on road safety and wearing a safe and visible kit.

Deliveroo requires rider partners to provide evidence of a compliant vehicle, front and rear lights, and an Australian certified helmet at the time of employ.

However, “it is the individual’s responsibility to maintain their vehicle in accordance with the local laws”, the spokeswoman said.

Deliveroo has also implemented “licence plates” for cyclists so members of the public can assist to identify poor rider behaviour.

A recent independent review of Deliveroo’s cycling safety procedures found it had an “outstanding level of safety education and product options for its riders,” the spokeswoman said.

In the last two years Deliveroo cyclists have increased from 100 to 2500 in Australia.

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