Police have warned Deliveroo its riders will face action if they are caught on the pavement after receiving complaints.
The warning was made to the multinational company on Twitter after a video of one of its mopeds being driven on the pavement on Western Road was posted on Monday
Sohail Rahim, who runs rival company Dinner2Go, claimed that Deliveroo riders think the police are powerless to stop them – but Brighton and Hove Police responded by tweeting the company with a stern warning:
— Sohail in Brighton (@sohailrahim) May 21, 2017
— Brighton&Hove Police (@BtonHovePolice) May 22, 2017
Last month, a representative of Deliveroo attended a joint meeting with council officers, police and Green councillors Lizzie Deane and Phelim Mac Cafferty.
It was agreed that Deliveroo would create a dedicated e-mail address and contact line for concerned residents to be able to use, which Deliveroo today announced is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The warning comes as Deliveroo argues at a tribunal that its drivers are not employees, and so shouldn’t be represented by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB).
If the Central Arbitration Committee rules that riders are employees and not individual contractors, the company could be forced to give them statutory benefits including sick pay, national minimum wage and paid holiday.
Green councillor Tom Druitt says he believes the company’s business model, which allows them to overhire and thus have a huge number of riders on the streets, is partly to blame for the bad riding which has become associated with Deliveroo.
He said: “Many motorbike riders are causing disturbances and danger to residents. I have had reports from many residents deeply concerned about motorbikes weaving between bollards designed to stop traffic, mounting pavements and causing extreme levels of noise disturbance.
“Whilst it is good news that the police are taking action on Deliveroo, it is the company, not the riders, that needs to be pursued if we are going to see any effective changes.
“It is the Deliveroo business model that drives this behaviour. Until this business model changes, enforcement action over drivers can only go so far.
“If a rider loses their licence, they will simply be replaced by new riders under the same stress as before.
“A longer term solution will only be achieved by Deliveroo being made to face up to the harmful practices of their exploitative business model and changing it for the better.”
A spokeswoman for Deliveroo said: “Deliveroo in Brighton has been a real success story. Since March 2016 we’ve given thousands of customers access to great new food, helping over one hundred local restaurants grow their businesses, and creating good work for hundreds of local riders who on average make over £9.50 an hour.
“We are determined to ensure we have a wholly positive impact on the local community, and the safety of all road users is of utmost importance to us. We operate a zero tolerance policy towards anyone found to have broken the law, and would ask local residents to share any complaints with us directly at email@example.com so that wherever possible we can take action.
“We’ve already requested a meeting with Caroline Lucas MP to discuss this topic, and welcome any constructive dialogue around how we can continue to ensure riders, restaurants, customers and residents all benefit from our ongoing growth.”