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Deliveroo and Uber Eats delivery bicycles 'should be fitted with number plates'

ByLydia Chantler-Hicks

Food delivery cyclists could be made to carry number plates as campaigners renew calls for a crackdown on "reckless" biking after an elderly resident was struck.

Cllr Gill Gower told the latest Canterbury Forum meeting Deliveroo and Uber Eats workers should be more easily identifiable.

Scroll down to hear what shoppers in Rochester High Street think.

Deliveroo cyclists have been in the city for three years
Deliveroo cyclists have been in the city for three years

The Labour councillor for Westgate raised the issue after speaking to an 85-year-old who says he was knocked down by one of the cyclists in the High Street.

“I appreciate the cyclists are under enormous time pressure,” Cllr Gower says.

“But they’re quite often cycling on the pavement, cycling without lights, and cycling in a generally reckless behaviour.

“It’s very difficult to describe a cyclist who is wearing a hood or helmet and travelling at speed.

“If you can actually say ‘this is this person’ it makes it much easier to call them into account.”

She told the Forum visible ID numbers affixed to cyclists or bikes would enable deliverers to be identified when rules were broken.

Speaking after the meeting, the elderly resident, who has asked not to be named, said: “I was struck on the back of my hand as the rider passed and staggered.

Earlier this year, Canterbury City Council wrote to food delivery companies to highlight irresponsible cycling
Earlier this year, Canterbury City Council wrote to food delivery companies to highlight irresponsible cycling

“I shouted to him to stop. He looked round at me but stood on his pedals and accelerated away towards Westgate."

The pensioner’s daughter approached the food delivery firm, which said it was unable to do anything without a description of the cyclist or the exact time of the incident.

Earlier this year, the city council wrote to food delivery companies to highlight the issue of irresponsible cycling.

The elderly man, who is deaf and walks with a stick, says the issue has not improved, adding: “Currently, any walk down the High Street and St Peter’s Street is fraught with danger. My last count at lunchtime was six food delivery cyclists in 10 minutes.

“Apart from the elderly like me, there is also considerable danger to toddlers with their mothers, in what is a pedestrianised zone.”

The council now plans to write to delivery companies about the idea, also urging them to ensure cyclists wear reflective gear to make them more visible at night time.

A spokesperson for Deliveroo said: "Road safety is of utmost importance to us and we operate a zero tolerance policy towards any riders who are found to have broken the law.

"As part of our commitment to road safety, we make hyper visible kit - designed to ensure riders can be seen by all road users - available to every rider free of charge. Free helmets are also available to all cyclists.

"We would ask people to share any complaints with us so that wherever possible, we can use our technology to identify whether a Deliveroo rider was involved in an incident and take action."

An Uber Eats spokesperson said: "The safety of customers, couriers and the general public is a top priority for Uber Eats. To use the app, all couriers have to follow the local road laws and anyone found to be driving dangerously will have their access to app removed."

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