Crack down on delivery guys Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just East who use Plymouth pedestrian areas
Council chiefs said they would work with police in the coming weeks to target the growing number of delivery drivers and passengers parking in a busy pedestrianized downtown area.
Concerns have grown in recent weeks as shoppers have returned to the city center and found themselves competing with delivery drivers – and opportunistic motorists – in what are supposed to be pedestrian areas.
During the lockdown, downtown fast food chains – especially those on New George Street – stayed open and began expanding their meal sales using an army of fast growing delivery companies like Deliveroo and Just Eat. . The majority of these delivery companies employed freelance scooter and motorcycle drivers, but occasionally the drivers could earn money by making a number of deliveries.
Read more: Cyclist Deliveroo says Plymouth residents cannot drive properly
While downtown was devoid of pedestrians, due to coronavirus restrictions, pedestrian areas outside of McDonalds, KFC, and Taco Bell fast food restaurants were often full of parked runners picking up deliveries or waiting for delivery. to be called.
However, as lockdown restrictions were lifted and the public returned, runners and drivers stayed behind, often vying for places in supposedly vehicle-free areas.
A resident videotaped a congested part of New George Street asking council to ensure these pedestrian areas are not “ceded” to delivery companies.
PC Tom Ottley, of the Charles Cross Police Station Neighborhood Team, said the use of delivery companies – on bicycles, mopeds and cars – “evolved” during the lockdown.
He said: “We have always had food deliveries, but that evolved during the lockdown when people were restricted to staying at home. We saw fast food outlets using delivery people and drivers and while the zones were empty of pedestrians, we took a pragmatic view.
“However, at the end of the lockdown we could see that there was a bit of a treacherous combination and we had a few incidents with pedestrians struck and cars touching each other.
“We have already done several transactions with the Plymouth City Council Parking Law Enforcement team, trying to educate and engage where we encountered inappropriate parking.
“However, in terms of being able to control it on a daily basis, there are practical issues and we have to be realistic about what we can accomplish. We cannot staff it around the clock and in the same way , the parking control team also has limited resources and has to cover an entire city, not just a street.
“It certainly snowballed last month as people returned to the city center as the public continues to call for their food to be delivered, even though the lockdown is over. It was planned to have market stalls along the street which would prevent parking, but due to Covid this was delayed. “
Pc Ottley said that although the majority of the vehicles were delivery drivers / riders, they found others to be opportunistic motorists eager to save on parking fees.
He said: “It’s not just the delivery drivers. Although they are the majority, we also met Joe Public parking and shopping. They saw all these delivery drivers pull up and thought ‘ I can get away with it.
“We are trying to bring the board, KTC, McDonalds, Taco Bell and delivery companies together around a table to find a long term solution.
A spokesperson for Plymouth City Council said: “We have unfortunately observed an increasing number of food delivery drivers violating parking restrictions in a number of areas of the city during and after the lockdown.
“The route at the top of New George Street is restricted to access and drivers are not allowed to stop there, even just to load or unload. Behavior like that shown in the video is increasingly becoming frequent and is simply unacceptable.
“In the coming weeks, we will be launching a targeted education and enforcement operation to address this issue. This will include all-day patrols of this area and other issues and officers will speak to anyone stopping there. where it shouldn’t be, recording the vehicle details and taking enforcement action where appropriate.
“We will also be reaching out to businesses to ask for their support in reminding food delivery drivers of the restrictions in place and the need to adhere to them.
“In the longer term, we will look to work with the City Center Company and the police to explore potential ways to improve access for food delivery drivers while maintaining safety for all road users. “
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