Finance

Concerns about growing number of deliverers: ‘We are getting complaints about road safety’

Nuisance for local residents, dangerous traffic situations for delivery drivers and their fellow road users, parking bicycles in public spaces, loading and unloading at all kinds of times and the noise nuisance that all this entails. These are just a few of the problems that the municipalities are experiencing due to the increase in meal and flash deliverers.

Amsterdam receives complaints about unsafe traffic situations. “The quality of life and road safety in the city are coming under pressure as a result,” according to the municipality of Amsterdam. “The pressure on public space is also increasing.” They call it an ‘unwanted development’.

Deliver order in a short time

They also recognize the problem in The Hague. “We are concerned about meal deliverers who have to deliver their orders to customers in a short time. We also see that delivery drivers regularly park their scooters, bicycles or cars incorrectly. Such as putting their two-wheeler on the sidewalk and blocking the passage. For example, emergency services, pedestrians and waste collectors may suffer from that,” a spokesperson said.

In 2019, 20,000 delivery drivers were still driving around on bicycles and scooters every day. Now there are 50,000 a day. These are for the most part meal deliverers, of whom there are 40,000.

In addition to the more well-known delivery services such as Thuisbezorgd and New York Pizza, more smaller restaurants have started delivering at home during corona time. And in the last year the speed cameras have also been added, such as Flink, Gorillas, Getir. There are now about 10,000 cycling around who deliver your groceries to your home within ten minutes.

A game to practice traffic situations

But all those delivery drivers cause problems on the road. The cyclists’ union calls on companies to take their responsibility. “You use bicycle paths that are also used by other cyclists. Deal with it in a good way,” a spokesperson said.

The Dutch Association of Meal Deliverers (NLVVM) has launched a game to train their deliverers in road safety. “There are 600 traffic situations and questions involved, so you can go ahead with it for a long time,” explains Tom Philipini, chairman of the NLVVM and foreman of Taco Mundo. “A game like this doesn’t feel like dry theory and people are tested on their traffic knowledge.”

Less nuisance on the street

The cyclists’ union thinks it is a great initiative, but is disappointed that it is not (yet) accessible to all deliverers. About 20,000 meal deliverers fall under the NLVVM, although they do not rule out the possibility that more companies can play the game in the future.

The four large municipalities want to reduce nuisance on the street and in traffic. There are no concrete measures yet. Different rules are being worked on. Amsterdam wants to tackle so-called dark store locations, where speed cameras have their warehouse. The municipality of Rotterdam says: “There are talks with delivery companies to limit nuisance, but there is no special policy for this group.”

The municipalities want to involve the sector in drawing up rules. Because there is also an understanding of growth. “We understand the desire of Amsterdammers to get groceries delivered quickly and easily. And we want to give companies the space to innovate where possible.”

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