Cyclists from Congleton have objected to McDonald’s ‘discrimination’ against people who choose to avoid the car for unnecessary journeys. The fast food restaurant said its decision not to serve people on bikes at its drive-throughs was taken, “for the health and safety of our people and our customers.”
Jill Dooney and her husband cycled to Congleton’s drive-through McDonald’s after getting a first shot of a Covid vaccine at the town hall earlier this week.
She told Nub News that they were told they would not be served because they were on bicycles.
The drive-through is open to motorists, but Dooney was told it was against McDonald’s insurance policy to allow people to cycle through.
A spokesperson later explained: “For the health and safety of our people and our customers, we are unfortunately unable to serve customers not in road-going motor vehicles in our drive-through.
"With takeaway temporarily closed we know this is disappointing for some customers, and we apologise for any inconvenience caused."
Dooney said: "I object to the fact that they discriminate against people who choose to avoid the car for unnecessary journeys.
"I feel that this policy encourages more car journeys, particularly where children/teenagers want a McDonald's and have to ask their parents to give them a lift.
"Should McDonald's not be encouraged to upgrade their insurance policy or find another way to serve walking and cycling customers in a COVID-compliant way?"
In July last year, a warehouse worker in Stoke complained that he had been left “shocked and embarrassed” after queuing at a McDonald’s drive-through on his bike only to be turned away when it was his turn to be served.
"I believe this is highly discriminatory against young people or anybody trying to do their bit for the environment by riding a bike,” said James Owens. “If cyclists are not welcome, why is this not made clear at the entrance to the drive-through?
“Cyclists and motorists manage to share every other part of the highway so why does McDonald’s think they cannot negotiate a drive-through together?”
On that occasion McDonald’s went into greater detail about why it won’t serve cyclists.
A spokesperson said: “By the very nature of a drive-through layout, vehicles need to pull up close to the service points and as there are no specific pavements or safe areas for pedestrians to use at the same time, safety becomes a concern.
"We are unable to permit pedestrians, bicycles and class-one mobility scooters to use our drive-throughs for these reasons. We are able to serve customers on motorcycles or those using a class-two or class-three mobility scooter."
The policy is presumably not one that applies worldwide however as the firm has previously trialled drive-through packaging specifically designed for cyclists.