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Residents call for delivery riders to wear numbered jackets to track down cyclists riding dangerously

The group has claimed these cyclists have e-bikes without speed limiters and called on the police and the Scottish parliament to take action

A residents group in Glasgow has called for food delivery riders to wear jackets with identifiable numbers so they can be tracked down and have their insurance and registration checked, while claiming that many cyclists are “careful and courteous riders, but others are putting people’s lives at risk”.

Merchant City and Trongate Community Council (MCTCC), a residents’ forum and pressure group based in Glasgow said that the move is necessary because of the number of “collisions and near misses” that have occurred in the city centre over the past few years and they are calling on both parliaments and police to take action.

The news comes months after the police launched a crackdown on “dangerous” delivery cyclists in the city, following an incident in which a cyclist had been left “terrified” by a crash with a courier riding in the wrong direction in a cycle lane at high speed.

Glasgow Times reports that an MCTCC spokesperson said: “These e-bikers are predominantly food delivery drivers working on behalf of companies like Deliveroo and Just Eat.

> Police crackdown on dangerous delivery cyclists after cycling charity urged companies to do more following cycle lane crash

“Their machines are often not fitted with a speed limiter, restricting them to the UK’s legal maximum level of 15.5 miles per hour. It’s common to see them riding on pavements and pedestrian walkways, often without lights after dusk.

“Many such cyclists are careful and courteous riders, but others are putting people’s lives at risk by driving far too fast in the wrong areas. Making them wear an identifiable jacket or bag would help track down an offender and allow their insurance policy and registration to be checked.

“We are demanding that measures are introduced quickly before more people get hurt – or worse.”

MTCC members said that they have discussed their concerns with senior Glasgow police, MSP Kaukab Stewart and Alison Thewliss, who was the MP for Glasgow Central, and were told meetings have been held with the management of the main food delivery companies.

Kaukab Stewart, MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, said: “After meeting with Merchant City and Trongate Community Council and constituents to hear their concerns, I have written to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport to enquire what powers the Scottish Parliament and local authorities have on introducing any licensing or insurance requirements.

“I take the concerns raised with me very seriously and believe we need to share our travel routes responsibly. I will continue to liaise with Police Scotland regarding this matter, and have been reassured that they are continuing to take action where breaches of the highway code and other relevant legislation are being observed.”

Superintendent Steven Meikle, Greater Glasgow Division, said: “The issue of illegal e-bikes and dangerous riding in the city centre was identified as a top road safety concern, with police receiving complaints directly from the public and other sources.

“In response to complaints, officers have carried out proactive enforcement in the city. Officers have also been speaking to users as our focus is on educating riders on safety and legislative requirements, however, where necessary, we will use enforcement action.

“We all need to be responsible for each other’s safety, and that means cyclists, motorists and pedestrians, have to abide by the rules of the road.”

 

Deliveroo_Rider_Taking_The_Lane_In_Bristol_(32611782273)

> Deliveroo riders' union in call for city centre cycle lane as part of "much-needed change" to support bicycle journeys

Meanwhile, a Just Eat spokesperson has said that the safety of couriers, road users and the public is a “key priority” for the company and all couriers delivering on their behalf “must ensure they follow all local laws and rules of the road”.

They said: “If we are ever made aware that a courier delivering on our behalf has acted in a way that does not uphold the standards we hope to deliver, we do not hesitate in taking action, which could include revoking the courier from our network.”

A spokesperson for Deliveroo added: “Road safety is of the utmost priority for Deliveroo. During the onboarding process, every rider completes a programme of road safety guidance and is required to meet minimum safety standards.

“As with all road users, riders must follow all local traffic laws and road regulations. We also hold regular rider roadshows which involve engagement with local councils and riders on road safety issues relevant to the area.

“If incidents are reported to us we investigate and work with the authorities to take appropriate action where necessary.”

In November, police in Glasgow responded to safety concerns from cyclists and a cycling charity about food delivery couriers riding illegal e-bikes dangerously in the city.

Police Scotland said it was “targeting those riding illegally modified electric bikes capable of going at high speeds”, the comments coming in the same week Cycling Scotland had called on food delivery companies to provide couriers “effective training around cycling safety" and check the bikes they ride “are legal and road-worthy”. 

Cycling Scotland's road safety manager said food delivery companies should be doing more to ensure riders' bikes are legal and effective training on cycling safety is provided.

“A simple thing would be are companies actually checking the bikes that the riders are using to make sure that they are legal?” he said. “If the riders are given effective training around cycling safety, if their bikes are checked to make sure that their bikes are legal and road worthy and if they're given effective training and support and the right safety equipment then I'm sure that would make a difference.”

> Councillor urges delivery riders to learn the Highway Code to ward off licencing or insurance rules that would have a “detrimental impact” on cycling

And in February this year, an SNP councillor from Glasgow urged delivery riders to learn and obey the Highway Code, after his peers brought up a proposal of licence plates of insurance for cyclists due to concerns about traffic offences committed by cyclists.

However, the council confirmed that it will not support such measures, citing a “significant detrimental impact” on active travel. Councillor Millar said: “A licencing system or insurance requirement for delivery riders would likely require legislative change, likely at UK Government level.

“It should be noted that it is unclear how any such legislation or regulations could be targeted at a specific user group as opposed to all people on bikes, and it is not known how it would be enforced.

“The council would not support any general move to introduce licencing requirements for cycling as this would have a significant detrimental impact on our agreed active travel behaviour change efforts.”

Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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47 comments

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wycombewheeler replied to dubwise | 1 month ago
2 likes

dubwise wrote:

You couldn't make this up, either false plates or a friend of a police officer.

Quote:

ou have to fill in and return the section 172 notice within 28 days telling the police who was driving the car. Failing to do this may mean you have to go to court.

So If we assume the police letter was sent out at 7 days, they still have another two weeks to identify the driver.

Then if the registered keeper identifies a different driver, they will have a period to accept liability as well. not sure if this is also 28 days.

so not having identified a driver at 3 weeks does not mean that number plates are useless or that the police are sheltering someone. It's well within time for the process.

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LeadenSkies replied to wycombewheeler | 1 month ago
2 likes

Not strictly true. NIP is to identify the driver not the owner. Owner or at least the registered keeper should be easy to identify via the number plate. But, it's the driver who needs identifying not the owner so you are right that it is within time and I am just exercising my inner pedant.

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wycombewheeler replied to LeadenSkies | 1 month ago
0 likes

LeadenSkies wrote:

Not strictly true. NIP is to identify the driver not the owner. Owner or at least the registered keeper should be easy to identify via the number plate. But, it's the driver who needs identifying not the owner so you are right that it is within time and I am just exercising my inner pedant.

that's what I said, the police have two weeks to notify the registered keeper, and the registered keeper then has 4 weeks to identify the driver. I never said anything about identifying an owner. But I see AndreBanshees original post talked about identifying an owner. I wonder if this was a slip by him or the police, that they meant driver when they said owner, or if he has writtern owner rather than driver. since the owner is irrelevant. only the keeper and the driver.

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Oldfatgit | 1 month ago
14 likes

These guys that are riding mopeds ... they should already be insured, displaying a registration mark, have an MOT and return the required VED.

They are not cyclists.
If anything, they make it difficult and dangerous for cyclists.

Yes ... Good old collective responsibility. Just because *you* don't believe in it, doesn't mean others agree with you.

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wycombewheeler replied to Oldfatgit | 1 month ago
6 likes

Oldfatgit wrote:

These guys that are riding mopeds ... they should already be insured, displaying a registration mark, have an MOT and return the required VED. They are not cyclists. If anything, they make it difficult and dangerous for cyclists. Yes ... Good old collective responsibility. Just because *you* don't believe in it, doesn't mean others agree with you.

yes, but the look like cyclists to everyone else. the manufacture, importing or sale of ilegal e-bikes should be ilegal. No "oh it's for use on private land" excuses because we know they will be used on the public highway, and it's too hard to tell at a glance whether it ios an e-bike or an electric motorbike.

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KDee replied to wycombewheeler | 1 month ago
2 likes

I saw a video clip last week on social media of a Met (or City of London) traffic officer TPAC-ing a mobile phone thief. The suspect and an accomplice both fled on Sur-Ron electric motorbikes...yet the police social media text still referred to them as e-bikes, not electric motorbikes.

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Shermo | 1 month ago
18 likes

I'm amazed how many different groups get the legal wording incorrect, including Police Scotland.

The correct term for these vehicles with throttles, no 15.5mph assist limit and generally powers over 250w is a moped.

The law is clear on this, mopeds should have number plates, they should have insurance and they should have MOTs. They also should definitely not be on the pavement and also not use cycle lanes.

I would love the media and Police to start using the correct term, especially a site like road.cc and stop saying these people are cyclists.

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Paul J replied to Shermo | 1 month ago
4 likes

Yeah, feet not pedalling, grip throttle, speeding around at 30, sometimes 40+ km/h: It's a fucking moped.

Doesn't matter they've bolted stuff onto a cheap, shitty, super-market MTB. The thing is now a moped. "Motorised Pedalbike". Moped. Legally, descriptively, and etymologically the correct term.

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ktache | 1 month ago
17 likes

May I point out that there is no 15.5mph speed limit for ebikes in this country, much as there is no speed limit on non electric assist bicycles, that is merely the speed at which the electric assist should stop.
Now I'm not saying that a lot of these bikes and riders are not illegal, the lack of pedaling often gives it away, but these protesters should really get their facts right.

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Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
23 likes

Apart from the fact that this would be registration through the back door, it's approaching the problem (and living in inner-city London I agree it is a huge problem, both the use of illegal electric motorcycles and dangerous riding behaviour) from totally the wrong end. We need legislation that makes the delivery companies responsible for the legality of the machinery of their riders and their behaviour, i.e. that forces them to employ them in a proper manner rather than being able to say that they are self-employed and therefore liable for all transgressions themselves. If that adds an extra quid to having stuff delivered or, heaven forfend, makes people actually walk or cycle to the food outlet themselves*, so be it.

*There's a Pret A Manger at the bottom of our road, I don't use it myself because I like good food and decent coffee but it's quite astonishing to see in the morning how many delivery riders are turning up to pick up a muffin and a coffee for clients, I would just find it embarrassing to face a delivery rider who knew that I was so self-important and lazy that I thought it was appropriate to pay somebody else to deliver my breakfast rather than walk half a mile to get it.

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brooksby replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
12 likes

Rendel Harris wrote:

We need legislation that makes the delivery companies responsible for the legality of the machinery of their riders and their behaviour, i.e. that forces them to employ them in a proper manner rather than being able to say that they are self-employed and therefore liable for all transgressions themselves. If that adds an extra quid to having stuff delivered or, heaven forfend, makes people actually walk or cycle to the food outlet themselves*, so be it

Except that their entire business plans (uberdeliveroofood) is based on NOT treating these people as "real" employees. If they were forced to take them on as such, with holidays and minimum wage etc, they'd probably all go bust.

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Rendel Harris replied to brooksby | 1 month ago
20 likes

brooksby wrote:

Except that their entire business plans (uberdeliveroofood) is based on NOT treating these people as "real" employees. If they were forced to take them on as such, with holidays and minimum wage etc, they'd probably all go bust.

Fine by me to be honest, maybe we would all start going out and supporting local restaurants and pubs again and talking to each other instead of eating takeaways in front of the TV!

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Mr Hoopdriver replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
11 likes

Rendel Harris wrote:

brooksby wrote:

Except that their entire business plans (uberdeliveroofood) is based on NOT treating these people as "real" employees. If they were forced to take them on as such, with holidays and minimum wage etc, they'd probably all go bust.

Fine by me to be honest, maybe we would all start going out and supporting local restaurants and pubs again and talking to each other instead of eating takeaways in front of the TV!

Nope.  They'd just drive to nearest drive-through.

I felt very smug and annoyed when I filtered past the 0.5 mile tailback to get into the local McD drive through when they re-opened it after the Covid lockdown.  They were all there with their engines ticking over just blocking the roundabout and snaking along the bypass.

There's no hope, almost nobody lived through lockdown and thought 'wow - no cars is wonderful and how it should be all the time'.

 

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Rendel Harris replied to Mr Hoopdriver | 1 month ago
10 likes

Mr Hoopdriver]</p>

<p>[quote=Rendel Harris wrote:

Nope.  They'd just drive to nearest drive-through.

I felt very smug and annoyed when I filtered past the 0.5 mile tailback to get into the local McD drive through when they re-opened it after the Covid lockdown.  They were all there with their engines ticking over just blocking the roundabout and snaking along the bypass.

There's no hope, almost nobody lived through lockdown and thought 'wow - no cars is wonderful and how it should be all the time'.

Oh Lord, I remember riding up the South Circular towards Brixton Hill the day they reopened the Maccies drive-through after lockdown, the traffic was backed up to Clapham Common. It made me sad to see how much people had missed it.

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chrisonabike replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
9 likes

A round of applause for you both!

I am still unclear why we let these companies exploit this.  I guess the religion of the major parties most of my life has been "businessism" more or less.  So there's likely no desire for what - even if they were keen - would realistically be a difficult job of taking on those with "game the rules" schemes to maximise gains.  Or indeed the even bigger "tax efficient" folks making no profit in the UK despite a vigorous trade, via schemes eventually based in places with less costly business taxes.

Of course, the last 3 PMs weren't likely to help, having been Boris "self promotion and damn the truth", a brief intermission from a "small government / just shake things up" ideologue with zero consistency, and the current "Mr. Freeports".

I will be wrong of course - but I see this as much of the same thing as the lack of interest in doing more to regulate* some of the e-whotsits** delivery riders use.

* Either by allowing but classifying and actually policing them, or by being more clear we're not having them.  That'd be my preference because what we (the people) need isn't actually these things at all - it's places to ride existing legal EAPCs and cycles.  In that though it seems I'm at least as firmly on the losing side of history as those decrying "that noisy electric music"...  With a possible question mark over (lower power) e-scooters, simply because of their easy of storage and portability.

** Repeating myself but at least in Edinburgh the worst of the "illegal mopeds" don't seem to be with the food delivery folks.  I suspect they're a bit expensive for them (and according to posters they're certainly a target for thieves).  They seem to be favoured by a younger crowd who seem a bit shy (hiding faces) - perhaps delivering things for an even darker market?

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Car Delenda Est replied to chrisonabike | 1 month ago
5 likes

I'm optimistically telling myself that these will continue to be unregulated, in the interest of corporations, and will eventually be considered defacto legal.
The average person will adopt them more and more as the quickest way around the city (as proven by delivery riders) and 'cyclists', as they will be considered by the public, will gain political mass.

With a sizeable voting bloc and the interests of several large multinational corporations behind it the 'cyclist lobby' could start to hold its own against the motorist lobby.

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chrisonabike replied to Car Delenda Est | 1 month ago
3 likes

Car Delenda Est wrote:

I'm optimistically telling myself that these will continue to be unregulated, in the interest of corporations, and will eventually be considered defacto legal. The average person will adopt them more and more as the quickest way around the city (as proven by delivery riders) and 'cyclists', as they will be considered by the public, will gain political mass. With a sizeable voting bloc and the interests of several large multinational corporations behind it the 'cyclist lobby' could start to hold its own against the motorist lobby.

Very optimistic there.  I think you could be partly right though - a "we couldn't be bothered to change things much" future is more likely than "we made the effort to attack cycling" in my view.  I think this could even lead to a bit more "cycle infra"...

... but it's a gloomy morning today so...

...I suspect if so it'll be like how it was when cars appeared.  There's a dream of a future of unfettered mobility but once you get to the new promised land of separate cycle infra with your pedal cycle and your child you'll find it's full of electric motorbikes hooning it and micro-delivery vehicles (now "only slightly bigger" than an *old* mini) run by big concerns.  But mostly it'll be people "pedestrianising" on upright scooters who'll still be unhappy to see you on your bike... and actually there'd still be plenty of cars and vans, some invading the cycle infra, as usual.

Actually, my less dystopian thoughts are ... well, basically same as above, but it turns out that state of affairs is on balance slightly better overall than now.  So when you get run over by an electric motorbike you're a bit less injured / not so often dead and the police are slightly more sympathetic.  (Still doesn't go to court though).

Harm minimisation.

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