Services like Deliveroo and Uber Eats have made it much more convenient to eat food from your favourite restaurant, because you can have it delivered to your home. But Westminster Council is threatening to crack down on restaurants using those services, in an attempt to minimise disruption and prevent the city from being "swarmed" by moped drivers.
A new council policy will force restaurants that use apps for the bulk of their deliveries to apply for planning permission, and prove that they're minimising the amount of disruption to the surrounding areas. Any businesses that "flout" the new rules, set to come into effect next Spring, could face "formal enforcement action".
Westminster council has already taken formal action against Nando's in Westbourne Grove, after receiving 25 complaints from local residents who were repeatedly being disturbed by moped drivers waiting for delivery orders. Officers from the council also noted that the drivers were also parking inappropriately, causing congestion, and producing a lot of noise. That particular branch was eventually ordered to stop offering a delivery service as a result.
Daniel Astaire, cabinet member for planning and public realm, said:
"We have nearly 3,000 restaurants in Westminster and the council needs policies to keep up with new technology, ensuring that areas can cope with the increased demand for food deliveries."
Astaire noted that even though food delivery apps provide a "fantastic service" if they're left unchecked they will end up creating "traffic chaos". Also adding "it is a popular, much-needed service but we can't allow the city to be swarmed with delivery drivers."
If you've ever been to London, there are scooters everywhere. Not all of them are delivery drivers, sure, but if you're covering a large area then sometimes a bike just isn't going to cut it. [The Independent]