Published: 00:01, 20 January 2019
A crackdown on food delivery riders cycling recklessly through the city centre has been pledged by council chiefs.
They fear the riders pose a serious safety threat to pedestrians in St George’s Street, the High Street and St Peter’s Street.
Now, the council is to write to delivery companies - including Deliveroo and Uber Eats - to highlight the issue, which was debated by city councillors on Monday night.
Members heard that police have already warned the firms about the behaviour of their workers, who often cycle at speed through the centre of the city, especially at night.
Pensioner Terry Burke told councillors he was almost knocked over by a delivery rider who struck his hand hard as he whizzed past, leaving him needing treatment at a minor injuries unit.
“I speak from real experience and was lucky not to fall,” he said. “It could have been a child.
“I wrote to the council to complain but never heard back, but the police were very good and spoke to Deliveroo.”
Cllr Nick Eden-Green (Lib Dem) says there has always been an issue with cycling in the high street, but claims delivery riders have “bred the escalation of the whole problem”.
“I speak from real experience and was lucky not to fall. It could have been a child...” - Terry Burke
Cllr Louise Jones (Con) branded the behaviour “reckless”, while Cllr Alan Baldock (Lab) says the message must get through to the companies involved.
Lisa Carlson, of the Canterbury BID, says her ‘ambassadors’ are already aware of issue and had reported it.
Vehicles and bicycles are banned in the High Street between 10.30am and 4pm.
The council’s safer neighbourhoods chief Doug Rattray said it could be possible to seek a new public space protection order to further restrict cycling.
But he added: “That would still not give us the right to actually stop cyclists - only the police can do that.”
An Uber Eats spokesman said: “We’re currently investigating these reports. Safety is a top priority and any courier breaching road laws can be removed from the Uber Eats app.”
Deliveroo was approached for a comment, but did not respond.