Singapore

An accident waiting to happen? Concern over food delivery riders using Orchard Road pavement

Pedestrians worried as food delivery riders on motorbikes use pavement outside Liat Towers as a short cut

A retail manager has had several close shaves with food delivery riders on motorcycles on the pavement near his office at Wheelock Place in Orchard.

And Mr Nick Smith, 36, who has been working in the area for about two years, is not alone in this.

Other pedestrians have also had close encounters with the errant motorcyclists, most of whom were there to pick up food orders from Shake Shack, the popular burger and milkshake joint, in Liat Towers.

As there is no direct road access to the outlet, the pavement is the fastest, most convenient way for the food delivery riders who are usually in a hurry.

When The New Paper staked out the pedestrian area outside Wheelock Place and Liat Towers for two hours at lunchtime on Monday, about 20 food delivery riders were seen riding and parking their motorbikes on the pavement.

There are carparks in the malls nearby, as well as an open-air carpark at Angullia Park next to Far East Shopping Centre. Some malls, like Liat Towers and Far East Shopping Centre, do not have motorcycle parking.

But four riders TNP spoke to were not keen on using the carparks.

One of them, a 24-year-old who wanted to be known as Haikal, said his main concerns were the time it would take to park and walk to and from the food collection point, and the parking costs.

He added: "We are always rushing to meet our delivery times. We are also at the mercy of vendors who may take longer to prepare the food.

"If we have to wait for our orders, the parking fees can go up quickly."

Another rider who wanted to be known as Nizam said the parking fees would take a chunk of the $8 he earns for each delivery.

The 31-year-old said: "The fees range from 20 cents to more than a dollar. We can do up to 20 orders a day so the cost can add up very quickly."

ILLEGAL

It is illegal for motorcyclists to ride or park on pavements.

According to the Land Transport Authority, for parking on pavements, a rider may be fined $70 for his first offence and $110 for subsequent offences.

All 10 pedestrians TNP spoke to strongly opposed the use of motorbikes on pavements, calling it an accident waiting to happen.

Mr Tony Tan, 48, who owns a business nearby, said he has often seen motorbikes turn from Orchard Road onto the pavements and continue on for about 100m before stopping.

He said: "This is very dangerous. The pavement gets very crowded on weekends.

"There are young children and senior citizens - and the motorbikes go very close to the pedestrians. We should not wait for an accident to happen before we act."

A father of two who wanted to be known as Lokman said his priority is his children's safety.

He said: "We can't have our kids put in danger by those who choose to ride recklessly on the pavement."

When contacted, a Grab spokesman said: "Our delivery-partners are aware that they are required to observe all local regulations.

"We remind our delivery-partners regularly through in-app notifications and e-mails about safety regulations and requirements while delivering food and travelling on the roads, such as observing the speed limits and wearing proper safety gear."

A Foodpanda spokesman said: "Our riders are always reminded to obey traffic rules and mall regulations when collecting and delivering orders.

"We encourage riders to raise any concerns with us so we can work with the relevant parties to find a workable solution."

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