Deliveroo Riders Call For More Investment In Cycling Infrastructure
Bike-based food delivery company Deliveroo has revealed the most popular roads for riders making deliveries across Sydney and Melbourne as riders call for more dedicated bike lanes and better cycling infrastructure in built up areas.
Melbourne’s inner-north dominates the city’s most popular roads for Deliveroo riders with Smith Street in Collingwood, Brunswick Street in Fitzroy and Bell Street in Preston all among the streets most frequented by Deliveroo riders. Elizabeth Street in the CBD and Barkly Street in Footscray are also regularly used by riders making deliveries.
In Sydney, George Street in the CBD is the top spot for riders making a delivery, while the busy roads that connect the eastern suburbs to the city - Avoca Street, Alison Road and High Street in Randwick - are also among the most popular.
Riders said many of the busiest roads for making deliveries have disappearing bike lanes, cars parked in dedicated cycling areas, or no bike lanes at all. Some of the most popular roads put riders in danger of dooring, with only a narrow bike line between a main road and parked cars.
- Deliveroo reveals most popular roads for riders in its busiest cities: Sydney and Melbourne. Many busy roads currently do not have dedicated cycle lanes
- As these numbers grow, riders are calling for better cycling infrastructure to keep them safe on busy roads
- Riders want more ‘Dutch-style roundabouts’ across Australian cities, like in South Melbourne
Deliveroo has heard concerns from across its network of over 8,000 riders in 13 Australian cities about their safety on the roads who are calling for an increased focus on cycling infrastructure in major cities. In a recent survey 41 percent of riders highlighted safety as one of their top concerns.
Safety The Primary Concern
Findings from Deliveroo’s inaugural Rider Advisory Panel meeting – which brings together riders and company representatives to improve rider safety – revealed the need for more bike lanes on busy roads and a reduction in the number of disappearing bike lanes to ensure their safety. Improved street lighting in suburban areas was also raised as a key concern, with many riders having to navigate dark streets during the popular spike of dinner orders at night-time.
Bastien Wallace, the General Manager of Public Affairs at Bicycle NSW said: “We want to see growth in active transport usage - today in Sydney we are at 5.6 percent, compared to London at 20 percent. Safe infrastructure for cycling is critical to this. We want to see State Governments invest more in active transport.
Lowest Investment In Active Transport
“The investment in active transport is among the lowest in the country in NSW and Victoria, with a spend per person of $7.20 and $7.11 respectively. Safe, dedicated cycleways will not only encourage more people to ride; but lead to flow-on benefits such as health, reduction in traffic congestion and drive greater economic productivity.”
Harshit Ahluwalia, a Sydney Deliveroo rider on the Rider Advisory Panel, said when bike lanes end, riders are often forced to cut across traffic to navigate a delivery.
"In some areas there are no bike lanes at all. Speaking to other riders this is definitely a common concern, and something we want to see addressed as more Australians order from online food delivery apps," he said.
Ed McManus, the CEO of Deliveroo in Australia, said the company knows first-hand the important role that cycling infrastructure can play not just in helping people get around cities in a safe and reliable way.
"But also by boosting earnings potential for workers who rely on the infrastructure to work," he continued.
"According to an audit by Infrastructure Australia this year, only about 5 percent of people get to work by walking or riding a bike in Australia. This compares to more than 30 percent of trips in Sweden, Germany and Denmark, and over 50 percent in the Netherlands,"
“We’re focused on doing all that we can improve the safety of our riders and the community, but we consistently hear from our rider base that with more and safer bike lanes they would be able to ride more and maximise their earnings. This is a critical part of achieving the best working environment for our riders.”
Welcome The Dutch Roundabout
One example of cycling infrastructure that Deliveroo riders have embraced is the cycling-friendly ‘Dutch style roundabout’ which creates a protected bike lane separating riders from motorists and gives them priority when passing through a roundabout.
Popular in cycling cities across Europe, two Dutch-style roundabouts were introduced in South Melbourne in 2018 and are now used by many Deliveroo riders when working in the area.
Deliveroo’s Rider Advisory Panel launched in October and is the first rider-run panel established by a food delivery platform in Australia. Deliveroo will work with the panel of ten riders from across Australia to raise awareness of the safety issues riders face on the road and better inform how Deliveroo can address these issues.
Over To You - What Can be Done To Improve Cycling Infrastructure And Awareness In Our Cities?