Transport for London (TfL) and meal and grocery delivery companies have committed to improving road safety in London with the launch of a new voluntary Meal and Grocery Delivery Company Motorcycle Road Safety Charter. The Charter, signed by five companies: Deliveroo, Getir, Just Eat, Stuart and Uber Eats, consists of 10 road safety principles that aim to keep motorcycle couriers and other Londoners safe on the road. The Charter is part of a range of measures that TfL is taking to make London’s streets safer for all who use them, and key to the Mayor’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating death and serious injury from the transport network.
People riding motorcycles face the greatest likelihood of death or serious injury of anyone driving on the roads. In London, people riding motorcycles, mopeds and scooters represent only 2.6 per cent of vehicle kilometres driven, but tragically accounted for around 27 per cent of deaths and serious injuries from 2017-2021. On average, around 30 people are killed and 1000 people seriously injured riding motorcycles in London per year, with the most frequently injured being riders on low-powered motorbikes (below 125cc) and scooters who are riding on L-plates.
TfL is working in partnership with the meal and grocery delivery industry to improve safety for riders and other road users, and to drive down these devastating incidents. Road safety principles set out by the charter include: a commitment to Vision Zero and eradicating deaths and serious injuries from London’s roads; ensuring couriers meet the legal requirements for working and riding in the UK; supporting couriers in understanding how to ride safely and within the law; and supporting couriers to ensure that vehicles are legally compliant and roadworthy. As well as providing a set of principles that meal and grocery delivery companies can commit to, to help improve the safety of riders, the charter also represents an important step in raising awareness of motorcycle rider safety and what can be done to improve standards.
The support of meal and grocery delivery companies is vital in helping TfL to achieve Vision Zero, and TfL will continue to work with other firms in the industry to encourage them to sign up to the Charter. As part of committing to this shared Charter, TfL has also asked meal and grocery delivery companies to attend TfL’s six-monthly Meal and Grocery Delivery Company Road Safety Forum. At the Forum, TfL and meal and grocery delivery companies will discuss progress around implementing the Charter, and new ideas to improve road safety.
Lilli Matson, TfL’s Chief Safety Health and Environment Officer, said: ”There has been a significant rise in motorcycle deliveries over the past few years and this cannot come at the expense of safety. People are tragically losing their lives in avoidable motorcycle collisions, which all too often also injure or kill other road users. This is why we’re working closely with delivery, courier and servicing companies to address these sources of road danger and protect the lives of riders and everyone else on London’s streets. We’re really pleased to have secured the backing of some of the biggest names in the sector for our charter, who recognise the part they can play in helping to create safer roads for everyone.”
A Deliveroo spokesperson said: “The safety of our riders is an absolute priority. We are always seeking new ways to strengthen our safety measures and regularly host focus groups and events to understand the rider experience first-hand. We meet riders in-person at roadshow events across the country to collect feedback and work hand in glove with our union partner – the GMB – on other ways to improve the experience of riders, not just on pay and consultation rights on benefits but other issues including riders’ health, safety and wellbeing. We are pleased to be working with TfL as another step to ensure our riders feel safe when on the road.”
Karthik Harith, General Manager for Getir in the UK said: “Getir is pleased to be supporting the launch of Transport for London’s Road Safety Charter for those involved in delivering meals or groceries across London.
“We take safety very seriously at Getir. That’s why all of our couriers receive paid training, PPE and sensible targets to ensure that they are as safe on the roads as possible. We are proud to support this charter as it will help improve safety for both couriers and other road users.”
Claire Pointon, UK Managing Director for Just Eat, said: “At Just Eat we take courier safety very seriously and we want to do all we can to keep them working safely within local communities. We’re really pleased to be working alongside TfL with this charter to provide even more support for couriers delivering in London.”
John Gillan, General Manager of Stuart UK: “The safety of our courier partners and the wider London community in which they work is our utmost priority, and this charter reaffirms our unwavering commitment. Collaboration across the industry is crucial to its success. By working together, we can collectively drive change, pushing for safer deliveries and, in turn, a safer London.”
Matthew Price, Uber Eats General Manager, UK, Ireland and Northern Europe said: “Uber Eats is pleased to be a signatory of TfL’s Road Safety Charter. With thousands of couriers using our platform in London, we recognise the important role we play in driving up safety standards across the sector and helping to make London’s roads safer.”
The charter is one of a number of measures TfL is taking to make London’s roads and the vehicles using them safer. Earlier this year, TfL, motorcycling organisations, road safety charities and other transport authorities signed a letter calling on the Government to improve compulsory basic training for motorcyclists. Current CBT for motorcycles and mopeds, which enables people as young as 17 to ride motorcycles up to the national speed limit with L-plates after one day of training and without a theory test, was developed more than 30 years ago. Strengthening CBT would be a positive step to ensure safer motorcycling across the UK.