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Congleton cyclists say McDonald's is discriminating against people who avoid using their car for unnecessary journeys

Even with its main restaurant closed, the fast food giant says cyclists can’t use the drive-through for health and safety reasons

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.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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118 comments

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Rendel Harris replied to hawkinspeter | 3 years ago
3 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

How about key workers popping in to grab some breakfast/lunch/dinner? If they're allowed to be open and serve people, then it seems reasonable that people can go there to buy food (or an approximation thereof).

Yep if they're allowed to open I guess that implies it's permissible to travel there - just wondering how a takeaway hamburger comes under the aegis of a "basic necessity", which is, according to the regs, all one's allowed to go out for, keyworker or not?

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hawkinspeter replied to Rendel Harris | 3 years ago
3 likes

You're also allowed outside to travel to work, so grabbing a burger on the way to or from work should be fine.

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IanMK replied to Rendel Harris | 3 years ago
0 likes

Just because they are allowed to be open doesn't mean that some of their customers are not breaching the regs by driving there.

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Pilot Pete replied to IanMK | 3 years ago
3 likes
IanMK wrote:

Just because they are allowed to be open doesn't mean that some of their customers are not breaching the regs by driving there.

It's all in the legislation. You can pre-order takeaway food, or use a drive through. So I am not sure what regulation you think people using a drive through to obtain food are breaking?

 

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Pilot Pete replied to Pilot Pete | 3 years ago
0 likes

See here...

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Pilot Pete replied to Pilot Pete | 3 years ago
1 like

And here...

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IanMK replied to Pilot Pete | 3 years ago
0 likes

Is this the latest guidance your quoting? We don't have tiers any more in England at least.

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Hirsute replied to IanMK | 3 years ago
1 like

We do, we are all in tier 4

"Every area of England, apart from the territorial waters adjacent to England and the airspace above England and those territorial waters, is within the Tier 4 area."

 

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Pilot Pete replied to IanMK | 3 years ago
0 likes

We are all under tier 4 now.

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IanMK replied to Pilot Pete | 3 years ago
0 likes

The one that says you should stay local and only go out if you need to. The one that says that you should walk or cycle if possible. I'm not saying that nobody ever needs McDs I'm suggesting there's a difference between want an need.

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Pilot Pete replied to IanMK | 3 years ago
0 likes

But which one says you should stay local? It's NOT the law. That is government guidance. It has NO legal standing, therefore you cannot commit an offence by not following it. The moral argument is a separate issue.

And once again, there is no definition, nor restriction on 'want and need' when it comes to buying food under tier 4 restrictions. I think you are trying to put your values out there as some sort of restriction on what other people can do.

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Pilot Pete replied to Rendel Harris | 3 years ago
1 like

The basic necessity comment is in the guidance, not the legislation, which is here.
 

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1374/schedule/3A#commentary-key...

Takes a bit of fathoming, but it's all in there what you can and can't travel for. Getting takeaway or drive thru food is perfectly acceptable under the legislation for Tier 4 restrictions.

PP

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IanMK replied to Pilot Pete | 3 years ago
1 like

Sorry you're right I was quoting the guidance not the law. I do get it. I know there's no law being broken. I should have checked my wording.

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Steve Abraham replied to hawkinspeter | 3 years ago
14 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

How about key workers popping in to grab some breakfast/lunch/dinner? If they're allowed to be open and serve people, then it seems reasonable that people can go there to buy food (or an approximation thereof).

I am a key worker. I'm an Uber Eats food courier and I pick up from Mc Donalds on my bike. I ride my bike through the car park to the door, where I leave my bike, then back through the car park when I set off to deliver. I can't buy their food at the service counter because it's closed. I can't buy their food at the drive through, because I'm on a bicycle (or foot)

BUT THERE IS A WAY! (this only works for Mc Donalds that do delivery)

I can order myself some food via the Uber Eats phone app and get it delivered to outside the front door of the Mc Donalds. I don't know how much extra that might cost. Delivery will be as cheap as it can get because it's a very short distance! So you can get a Mc Donalds even if you're on foot or bicycle, so long as they do delivery.

But for me, as a delivery courier, it could get even better. If I switch on my Uber Eats courier app before I order my delivery from the delivery app, I might be the courier that gets offered the delivery. Some of the delivery fee is paid by the restauarant. All that means is that I could end up making a sall profit by delivering food to myself to the Mc Donalds that I pick the order up from. I've seen a courier actually do this with KFC and IIRC, that delivery meant he made a bonus target, so he ended up making about £30 for delivering some KFC to himself to the restaurant he picked up from so that he could take it home for his tea!

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hawkinspeter replied to Steve Abraham | 3 years ago
2 likes

That's superb!

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brooksby replied to Rendel Harris | 3 years ago
1 like

Then they probably shouldn't be open, should they?

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mdavidford replied to Rendel Harris | 3 years ago
5 likes
Quote:

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.

Getting your Covid jab seems about as necessary as anything at the moment.

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Rendel Harris replied to mdavidford | 3 years ago
0 likes
mdavidford wrote:
Quote:

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.

Getting your Covid jab seems about as necessary as anything at the moment.

Well absolutely but I'm not sure being out for a necessary journey then allows for a few unecessary add-ons, does it?

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Pilot Pete replied to Rendel Harris | 3 years ago
3 likes

Your interpretation of the legislation is wrong. Picking up food from an authorised food retailer, no matter what your opinion is of the food quality (basic necessity or 'luxury' hamburger) is permitted under the legislation.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1374/schedule/3A#commentary-key...

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Hirsute replied to Pilot Pete | 3 years ago
0 likes

In the words of the good book "All things are permitted, but not all things are of benefit."

Just because you can, does not mean you should and also you have to show that

" it is reasonably necessary for the person concerned (“P”) to leave or be outside the place where P is living"

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Me_ replied to Rendel Harris | 3 years ago
4 likes

Since when was food not a basic necessity?

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Rendel Harris replied to Me_ | 3 years ago
1 like
Me_ wrote:

Since when was food not a basic necessity?

Oh come now, a McDonald's hamburger comes under the heading of an "essential basic necessity"?

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Me_ replied to Rendel Harris | 3 years ago
4 likes

Yes. It's food, you might not consider it good food, but it is food and will keep you alive. What should we be eating? Rice and beans for 10 months?

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Rendel Harris replied to Me_ | 3 years ago
1 like
Me_ wrote:

Yes. It's food, you might not consider it good food, but it is food and will keep you alive. What should we be eating? Rice and beans for 10 months?

Food from a supermarket, preferably garnered in as few trips as possible? I believe they sell more than just rice and beans? A McD's clearly is a luxury, not an essential basic necessity.

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TheBillder replied to Rendel Harris | 3 years ago
4 likes
Rendel Harris wrote:

A McD's clearly is a luxury

You had my vote right up to this point.

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Recoveryride replied to Rendel Harris | 3 years ago
3 likes
Rendel Harris wrote:
Me_ wrote:

Yes. It's food, you might not consider it good food, but it is food and will keep you alive. What should we be eating? Rice and beans for 10 months?

Food from a supermarket, preferably garnered in as few trips as possible? I believe they sell more than just rice and beans? A McD's clearly is a luxury, not an essential basic necessity.

I don't believe the regulations stipulate where you should purchase your food from, merely that you should stay reasonably local. As other posters have noted, services like that allow people travelling to and from work to get food, especially those (like members of the NHS) who may work long shifts and sometimes have trouble getting to the supermarket during opening hours. That does not constitute a luxury. The regulations are clearly designed to facilitate that, and using a McDonalds or similar in the way described above (on your way to and from home, or travelling straight there and back if local) is not in breach of them. More to the point, you are very obviously at far more risk of catching/spreading Covid in a supermarket than at McDonalds or similar. 

 

 

 

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Rendel Harris replied to Recoveryride | 3 years ago
0 likes
Recoveryride wrote:

...services like that allow people travelling to and from work to get food, especially those (like members of the NHS) who may work long shifts and sometimes have trouble getting to the supermarket during opening hours.

What nonsense, NHS staff have cafeterias open at work and are just as capable as anyone else of planning their shopping and meals not to have to rely on fast food outlets.  Keeping unhealthy junkfood outlets open on the grounds that you're helping out NHS staff is real grasping at straws stuff.

Just out of curiosity looked up the McD's in question, it's open 6am-11pm. Approximately 80 metres away there's a Tesco superstore open 6am - 12pm, so anyone who can make it to the Macdonald's can make it to the supermarket, therefore your argument is totally invalid. Keeping unnecessary food outlets like Macdonalds open is encouraging unnecessary journeys and increasing the risks of viral spread.

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Pilot Pete replied to Rendel Harris | 3 years ago
6 likes

Unfortunately for you, you don't have ANY argument. Read the damn legislation and stop trying to tell everyone what you THINK they should and shouldn't be allowed to do, or what food they should or shouldn't be allowed to purchase because of your opinion of what constitutes 'necessary'.

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Pilot Pete replied to Rendel Harris | 3 years ago
6 likes

You are flogging a dead horse.

People can buy food from any food supplier that is permitted to remain open under the legislation. It is not just supermarkets.

There is nothing in the legislation saying 'in as few trips as possible'.

There is nothing in the legislation that says you cannot buy 'luxury' food items, nor a definition of 'luxury' when it comes to food items.

There is no definition of 'basic necessities' in the legislation, nor mention that these are the only things you are permitted to purchase.

Your interpretation (well, I doubt it's an interpretation as I do not believe you have read the legislation) is simply an opinion based around one sentence in the guidance, which has no legal basis whatsoever.

What makes it pretty obviously wrong regarding 'basic necessities' is the fact there is no restriction on any of the foodstuffs that you can purchase in any of the supermarkets. I assume you wouldn't consider Nando's piri piri sauce to be a basic necessity? Nor ANY alcoholic drink? Or even bottled water? You see, no restrictions nor definition of what the supermarkets may sell as being 'basic necessities'....

PP

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Hirsute replied to Me_ | 3 years ago
2 likes

The basic requirement is to stay at home, so apart from the odd supermarket shop or ride, that's what we need to do.
In most cases, a fast food trip is not really a reasonable excuse to leave home.

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