Lancaster food delivery drivers 'disgusted' by 'personal attack' by traffic wardens clamping down on five minute stop-offs

Food delivery drivers in Lancaster say they are being targeted as 'cash cows' by traffic wardens who are dishing out parking tickets every time they stop to pick up an order.

Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 12:30 pm
Delivery drivers often use Church Street as a parking location when picking up their orders in the city centre.

The drivers have been using loading bays along Church Street while they nip into the many nearby takeways to collect their deliveries - but are now been issued with £35 fines every time they do so.

Some of the drivers, who work for firms such as JustEat, Deliveroo and UberEats, have been hit with more than one ticket in a day, often meaning they are fined more than they earn in a shift and leaving them stuggling to make ends meet.

One of the drivers, named only as Steve, said he was 'disgusted' by the greed shown by Lancashire County Council - particularly after the enforcement officers had given them leeway during the first lockdown.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Steve said last year the wardens had allowed them a short period of grace to park in loading bays along Church Street.

However, he said they now feel like they are being targeted as a money-making scheme after wardens suddenly started fining the drivers without warning.

"Originally they were allowing us five minutes to park in a loading bay to collect our orders but now they are just issuing fines all the time," he said.

"They know all the drivers and sometimes there will be two officers just waiting to pounce.

"It just seems really draconian and like they are deliberately trying to get a revenue stream out of the drivers. They know the delivery drivers won't be long but they just don't care.

"They are now working until 8.30pm to catch even more drivers; this is disgusting and greedy and should be against the law, it is attacking people just trying to earn a living.

"Some of these drivers have been furloughed and are struggling financially and have taken this on to earn some extra money. This is not helping the situation.

"Drivers are only paid per delivery, and they have no guarantee of deliveries or money per shift. They are key workers and they are just doing a service and all they want is to do their job.

"While we are in lockdown, getting food delivered is important for a lot of people. We are helping families and the elderly and people who could be isolating.

"It's an absolute disgrace that the council just sees us as cash cows.

"There has never been a problem with the traffic flow along the road. The drivers try to park in an orderly fashion.

"It feels like the council is deliberately going after the food delivery drivers. If you get a £35 fine that's a lot of money out of your day.

"There are about 50 drivers and they are all feeling really fed up about it, they feel like it's a personal attack."

Peter Bell, regulation and enforcement manager for Lancashire County Council, said: "We are currently receiving a lot of complaints about contravention of parking regulations by takeaway delivery drivers in many locations around the county, and as a result we are ensuring we visit these areas.

"Parking bays designated for loading/unloading are for use by businesses delivering large loads which cannot easily be carried, and some of the complaints are from businesses who can't access these bays because they are being used inappropriately.

"Takeaway delivery drivers are able to use limited waiting bays, however we will issue penalties to any vehicle which overstays the time limit as the bays are intended for anyone wishing to park for a short period and it is therefore important to ensure turnover.

"Unless vehicles are parked in locations where a penalty can be issued instantly, such as where there is a loading ban, enforcement officers will observe the vehicle for a time before issuing a penalty.

"While we and many councils across the country took a light-touch approach to parking enforcement during the first lockdown, traffic levels have now returned to near normal and it is therefore important that regulations are enforced to ensure safety, enable traffic flow, and ensure parking bays designated for specific purposes are available to those who need to use them."