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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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bikeman01 replied to Hirsute | 3 years ago
5 likes
hirsute wrote:

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.

That's your interpretation of the rules. If the government allows a business to open then we are allowed to utilise their service. For example not many would view click and collect at a toyshp as a necessity but the government has deemed somewhat arbitrarily that some businesses can operate and other's can't. I don't agree with this fuckup but it's up to business groups to fight for more balanced rules.

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Rendel Harris replied to bikeman01 | 3 years ago
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bikeman01 wrote:

That's your interpretation of the rules. If the government allows a business to open then we are allowed to utilise their service.

That's not the case though is it, if I happen to like a particular takeaway fifty miles from my house and drive there to pick up a curry the police aren't going to say, if they stop me, oh well you're going to a business that's allowed to stay open so it's OK.

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Hirsute replied to bikeman01 | 3 years ago
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Not sure about about interpretation

1.—(1) No person who lives in the Tier 4 area may leave or be outside of the place where they are living without reasonable excuse.

I don't think the idea is to look for ways to not be at home.

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Pilot Pete replied to Hirsute | 3 years ago
1 like

No, but going to get food is defined as one of the permitted reasons! The same as exercise etc etc. It's not about trying to find reasons to leave home, it about people on here saying that people shouldn't be going to McDonald's for food, which is poppycock - they are perfectly permitted to.

It appears to be because of some sort of food snobbery on the part of those claiming that McDonald's constitutes some kind of extravagant, luxury, rule breaking, irresponsible thing to do! It clearly isn't.

PP

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Hirsute replied to Pilot Pete | 3 years ago
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I agree you can't try and say you can go to this shop but not that shop or you can buy X but not Y.

However the basic requirement is to stay at home, so when you asked earlier about

"'in most cases'. Based on what?"

Let's say Police were patrolling all day around mcdonalds and saw you get breakfast, then lunch, then turn up for dinner. Do you think they will accept your excuse of " it is reasonably necessary for the person concerned (“P”) to leave or be outside the place where P is living"? Or will they say , 'do you really need to keep coming out for food 3 times a day?' Because all these things are exceptions to the requirement to stay at home and they do need a justification each time.

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Pilot Pete replied to Hirsute | 3 years ago
1 like
hirsute wrote:

I agree you can't try and say you can go to this shop but not that shop or you can buy X but not Y.

However the basic requirement is to stay at home, so when you asked earlier about

"'in most cases'. Based on what?"

Let's say Police were patrolling all day around mcdonalds and saw you get breakfast, then lunch, then turn up for dinner. Do you think they will accept your excuse of " it is reasonably necessary for the person concerned (“P”) to leave or be outside the place where P is living"? Or will they say , 'do you really need to keep coming out for food 3 times a day?' Because all these things are exceptions to the requirement to stay at home and they do need a justification each time.

Like I said, I'm merely stating facts, not mak8ng moral judgements. The police can give you advice regarding the guidance, they can issue you a fine if they want, but if you challenge it the chances are you will get it rescinded. It's not for the police to enforce the guidance - as they have no actual powers to, they can only enforce the legislation. They are in a difficult position, not of their making. Blame the government for the legislation.

PP

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Hirsute replied to Pilot Pete | 3 years ago
1 like

Why are you introducing talking about the guidance when Im quoting the regs?
The basic requirement and objective is to stay at home not find reasons to go various places simply because there is a clause in the regs that covers it.

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Pilot Pete replied to Hirsute | 3 years ago
2 likes

But it is perfectly permissible, whether you think it reasonable or not. And you are going into another dubious area by saying 'in most cases'. Based on what?

The legislation specifically permits individuals to leave home to pick up pre-ordered take-away food, or to use a drive thru service to pick up food. I don't understand why people are trying to add in their interpretation to say that those things are somehow not reasonable? The law clearly states that they are.

Here is the specific paragraph in the legislation that says offering and using a drive thru service is permitted.

 

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David9694 replied to Me_ | 3 years ago
0 likes

You've heard about Brexit, then.

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

Once again, it is permitted under the legislation. A lot of people seem to only read the government guidance and take their lead from that. It is an 'interpretation' and generalisation about what is permitted.

The legislation is the law, not the guidance. You cannot be charged with any crime for not following the guidance if you comply with the legislation.

Picking up take-away food, or using a drive thru food service is perfectly acceptable under the legislation. So is leaving home to get your Covid jab. Combining the two into one journey is eminently sensible.

It is exactly the same argument that everyone was having regarding the two ladies in Derbyshire who drove 5 miles to take a socially distanced walk for their daily exercise - the legislation puts no limit on driving somewhere to exercise, nor a distance or time limit.

The women were issued FPNs which were rescinded a day or two later when the story broke across the national press and it became apparent that the police had issued the FPNs incorrectly - they were fining the women for not following the guidance, when they had not breached the legislation therefore had not committed an offence.

I suspect there have been an awful lot of fines issued for breaches of the guidance and people have just paid up. I'm not condoning stupid, irresponsible actions, but people need to read the legislation and understand what they can and can't actually do under the tier restrictions for their area.

Many seem happy to point fingers and castigate people who are using good judgement and following the legislation, due to some ill-informed, holier than thou judgemental finger wagging when they have no idea that something is actually allowed. Worse than that is when they then say 'well it shouldn't be'...

PP

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

To precis all your unnecessarily rude and aggressive posts, it's OK to act like a selfish entitled irresponsible prick if you want to go and get junk food because if you nitpick over the regulations enough it's allowed. Well done. Exactly the sort of attitude which has led to this hellish situation carrying on far longer than it needed to and countless unnecessary deaths.

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Pilot Pete replied to Rendel Harris | 3 years ago
5 likes
Rendel Harris wrote:

To precis all your unnecessarily rude and aggressive posts, it's OK to act like a selfish entitled irresponsible prick if you want to go and get junk food because if you nitpick over the regulations enough it's allowed. Well done. Exactly the sort of attitude which has led to this hellish situation carrying on far longer than it needed to and countless unnecessary deaths.

You have consistently incorrectly told people what they can and can't do, including claiming that people who have a cafeteria at work shouldn't use a takeaway on their way home. Wind your neck in. You just don't like being wrong. Completely wrong, and called out for it.

So you do you, but stop making out that you have some superior position to judge other people who aren't 'nit picking', merely reading the legislation (which is obviously more than you did before passing your judgements) and following the law.

And the attitude of driving to get food from a drive thru is probably safer from a Covid spreading point of view that walking around Tesco with everyone else, but you carry on with your skewed judgemental attitude...laugh

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

You do you, but stop making out that you have some superior position to judge other people who aren't nit picking, merely following the law.

Anyone with any sense of responsibility knows that the thing to do to protect others and society as a whole is to stay at home as much as possible and follow government guidelines, even if they're not the law. Yes, I will judge pricks who say "Ah, but under the law I can do X, Y and Z", even if it's totally unnecessary and they're only doing it to satisfy their own selfish desires and who in doing so put others in danger.

Pilot Pete wrote:

And the attitude of driving to get food from a drive thru is probably safer from a Covid spreading point of view that walking around Tesco with everyone else, but you carry on with your skewed judgemental attitude...laugh

Oh, do the people who go to the MacDonald's takeaway only eat from there? Or do they go to the supermarket as well, thereby increasing their time outside and the risk of contracting/passing on the virus? You know damned well they do.

 

 

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

Anyone with any sense of responsibility knows that the thing to do to protect others and society as a whole is to stay at home as much as possible and follow government guidelines, even if they're not the law.

To be fair, with the governments track record on tackling this pandemic, I'm not sure they're best placed to be offering advice!

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

To be fair, with the governments track record on tackling this pandemic, I'm not sure they're best placed to be offering advice!

Nobody has more contempt for this shitshow of a government than I, but in terms of the stay at home advice that's pretty much universally agreed upon by scientists and other more competent governments than our own.

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HoarseMann replied to Rendel Harris | 3 years ago
5 likes

I think what you've got to do is take a step back and look at the broad picture. Cases are dropping sharply, it's clear that the current restrictions are working - and those restrictions do allow certain activities outside the home (including a cheeky maccy d's).

Obviously the safest option is to not leave home at all. That sort of lockdown was called 'brutal' by our media when China did it early in the pandemic. It's also not sustainable for long and it's not the approach the UK has taken (wrongly in my view!).

It's worth calling out flagrant rule breakers, such as organisers of mass gatherings etc. but in the grand scheme of things, the additional risk posed by getting a burger on a bike is well down in the noise.

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

Lots of assumptions there, but you've proved yourself quite good at that, as well as your lack of knowledge of the law. So now you are shifting the goalposts to claiming anyone reading the legislation as 'nit picking', now to the moral argument trying to save face as you've been proved wrong regarding the law.

We all know about staying at home, but you know f'all about anybody else and their reasoning, motives, situation or anything else whilst you cast your vile judgements on them going to get food. So what they get a take away from a drive through? If the authorities felt is was just too great a risk of spreading Covid they would outlaw it. They haven't. Take your ire out on the government rather than judging people whom you have no idea about...

Its exactly the same as all those moaning about cyclists taking exercise. What's local, what's too far, how they are breathing Covid over everyone, how they are risking the NHS if they have a crash. It's all ill-informed, ill thought out tripe. The reason the government are allowing exercise, including cycling is for physical and mental well being. The risk is minimal of spreading Covid whilst out cycling, whilst the benefits to public health are significant.

It makes no difference if I end up in A&E from falling off my bike or tripping and falling down the stairs, and the risk of accidents at home with lockdown has gone through the roof.

Most people are following the rules and using good judgement to minimise risk. Sure there are fools out there who deserve penalties, but your blanket assumptions are simply immature, bigoted and some pathetic attempt at elitism.

 

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

 

Its exactly the same as all those moaning about cyclists taking exercise.

 

No it isn't. But you're so determined to signal your virtue and shout and scream about elitism and God knows what else that I really don't think it's worth continuing any discussion with you. Enjoy your Macdonalds.

Just saw a good ad at half time in the rugby, showing patients on ventilators and the NHS staff caring for them. "Look them in the eyes and tell them you're doing all you can to stop the spread of Covid 19. Stay home. Save lives." Not "Look them in the eyes and tell them you're sticking to the letter of the law and that's all that matters", oddly.

 

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Simon E replied to Me_ | 3 years ago
0 likes
Me_ wrote:

Since when was food not a basic necessity?

Since when was McDonald's the only place you could buy food?

I don't understand why is this outlet seen as so "essential", the food they sell is shit.

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

Your opinion of the establishment or the quality of food is sadly irrelevant to this argument. The government have listed take away outlets as being permitted to open to provide pre-ordered take away or delivery/ drive thru services as long as they comply with the restrictions placed upon them (such as the takeaway restrictions on people being on the premises).

Any other interpretation of 'essential' is meaningless...

PP

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Simon E replied to Pilot Pete | 3 years ago
1 like
Pilot Pete wrote:

Your opinion of the establishment or the quality of food is sadly irrelevant to this argument.

Relax Pete. It's a forum, not a classroom.

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hawkinspeter replied to Simon E | 3 years ago
3 likes
Simon E wrote:
Me_ wrote:

Since when was food not a basic necessity?

Since when was McDonald's the only place you could buy food?

I don't understand why is this outlet seen as so "essential", the food they sell is shit.

...and supermarkets sell Findus Crispy Pancakes. Are they essential?

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Simon E replied to hawkinspeter | 3 years ago
1 like
hawkinspeter wrote:

...and supermarkets sell Findus Crispy Pancakes. Are they essential?

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IanMK replied to Rendel Harris | 3 years ago
0 likes

You should stay local so travelling from another town or village that has other takeaways available especially if that includes an alternative burger is against the regs. To confuse matters further, you should walk or cycle if possible. A McDs near me has Lidl. M&S. Subway & Starbucks next to it. So if I can walk or cycle then they are all open for walk in service. I shouldn't be in a car. Preference is not need. I'm not saying their aren't cases where there might be need but perhaps the Derbyshire Police should have shown up a McDs rather than local beauty spots to see why people are traveling.

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Pilot Pete replied to IanMK | 3 years ago
1 like
IanMK wrote:

You should stay local so travelling from another town or village that has other takeaways available especially if that includes an alternative burger is against the regs. To confuse matters further, you should walk or cycle if possible. A McDs near me has Lidl. M&S. Subway & Starbucks next to it. So if I can walk or cycle then they are all open for walk in service. I shouldn't be in a car. Preference is not need. I'm not saying their aren't cases where there might be need but perhaps the Derbyshire Police should have shown up a McDs rather than local beauty spots to see why people are traveling.

Can you provide a link to the law that states how far you can travel and to what constitutes 'local', as you have stated 'is against the regs'. What regulations are you talking about? The government guidance? The legislation?  What? As the ONLY thing that is law, and therefore you can commit an offence by not following, is the legislation.

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

It's all in here;

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

I have replied elsewhere showing the specific paragraphs that include using a drive through food service. What is important is the legislation, rather than the guidance. The legislation is what tells which retailers can be open and the service(s) they can supply and the conditions by which they may provide them, and it tells individuals what they legally can and can't do.

Leaving home is permitted for way more than the very vague 'basic necessities' referred to in the guidance. You can only commit an offence if you do not comply with the legislation, not the guidance.

PP

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Me_ replied to Pilot Pete | 3 years ago
3 likes

Well said Pete, I got bored of arguing with the people that clearly don't understand the actual legislation and are just judging because of the establishment in question

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

Well said Pete, I got bored of arguing with the people that clearly don't understand the actual legislation and are just judging because of the establishment in question

I couldn't give a bollocks whether people are driving to get a McDs in Congleton or foie gras on Park Lane, nor whether you can parse the legislation to prove it's allowed, you're not going to starve without it, stop going out just because you fancy a takeaway and risking other people's lives and putting more strain on the NHS.

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