In a significant move towards improving road safety in the bustling streets of London, three major food delivery companies—Deliveroo, Uber Eats, and Just Eat—have joined forces with Transport for London (TfL) to sign a road safety charter. This voluntary commitment aims to enhance the safety of motorcycle couriers and all road users in the city.
Over the past few years, motorcycle couriers delivering takeaways and groceries have become a common sight in London and other urban centers. While their services provide convenience, concerns have arisen about the safety practices of some riders who prioritize speed over safety when delivering orders.
Reports have also highlighted instances where couriers rent registered user accounts to bypass checks on their eligibility to work in the UK.
Under the terms of this charter, major delivery platforms will allow couriers to use substitute riders for deliveries, but only if they meet specific criteria. These criteria include verifying the substitute’s right to work and ensuring they are fully aware of applicable laws, particularly those related to road safety.
The charter comprises ten crucial road safety principles, covering legal requirements for working and riding in the UK, safe riding practices, and realistic delivery schedules. These principles aim to address the growing concerns regarding road safety while recognizing the rapid increase in motorcycle deliveries.
Lilli Matson, TfL’s Chief Safety Officer, emphasized that the surge in motorcycle deliveries must not come at the expense of safety. She highlighted the tragic consequences of avoidable motorcycle collisions, which not only endanger riders but also pose risks to other road users.
Motorcycle-related accidents have presented a significant challenge in London. Although motorcycles, mopeds, and scooters account for only 2.6% of the total distance driven, they represent approximately 27% of deaths and serious injuries from 2017 to 2021. This startling statistic underscores the importance of initiatives like the road safety charter in safeguarding lives on the city’s streets.
The commitment of major food delivery companies to prioritize safety is a significant step towards creating a safer environment for couriers, riders, and all road users in London. This collaborative effort aims to address the pressing issue of road safety while preserving the convenience and efficiency of food delivery services.