‘It’s just mad’: Delivery drivers causing havoc for residents

By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter

Residents are fed up with takeaway delivery drivers who they claim urinate on people’s houses and have no respect for the area.

Franck Kiangala, 59, has lived in Fingal Street, just off Woolwich Road, for more than 25 years and said residents were frequently disturbed by the conduct of takeaway drivers.

He said the speed at which drivers constantly go up and down the street on motorbikes is a ‘disaster waiting to happen’.

He said: “After Covid, this takeaway delivery economy exploded, they’re here every hour of the day. There’s rubbish that keeps being collected on the ground, sometimes you have multiple semi-eaten pizzas all over the floor.”

Mr Kiangala said the rubbish and food left on the pavement attracts pests such as rats to the street. He said the attitude of drivers has got so bad that residents have been unable to sell their homes and his wife temporarily emigrated to escape the issue.

He said: “The drivers don’t give a damn. In the summer, we can’t sleep. My bedroom window faces the street and they’re having these loud conversations and parties.”

A petition was sent to Greenwich council to address the conduct of drivers for Papa John’s and Morley’s in Woolwich Road (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

“My neighbour keeps getting blokes p***ing against her house all the time. There are a lot of bottles filled with urine on the street. It’s just mad.”

Mr Kiangala said meaningful conversations with the businesses to resolve the issues have been ‘non-existent’, adding that ward councillors have repeatedly told him that the conduct of the stores was in order.

Mr Kiangala sent a petition to Greenwich council last month, which asked the authority to request that drivers for the Morley’s Chicken and Papa John’s stores in Woolwich Road start behaving in a socially responsible manner.

Labour councillor Ann-Marie Cousins, cabinet member for community safety and enforcement for Greenwich council, said in a written response that the authority was limited in its ability to take action against drivers who are usually self-employed and work for different outlets.

She added that the council’s business engagement team had found no evidence of litter from the businesses on the pavement outside during a visit in December last year.

The lane which Mr Kiangala said ‘stinks of urine’ (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

The manager for the Morley’s store in Woolwich Road said that he was aware of the complaints made by residents and that the bin area around the shop was properly run. He said takeaway drivers worked for food delivery companies such as Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

A Papa John’s spokesman said: “We were extremely disappointed to hear that drivers were causing concern in the area.

“These drivers are not employed by Papa John’s, we use external delivery partners. We can confirm that we have made contact with our partners to say that we don’t tolerate this behaviour.”

A JustEat spokesman said all couriers delivering on its behalf were expected to act respectfully and responsibly at all times. They said the company welcomes discussions with Greenwich council to tackle residents’ concerns.

A Deliveroo spokeswoman said: “Deliveroo takes its responsibilities in the communities where we operate very seriously. We regularly communicate with riders about respecting the neighbourhoods where they work and are reaching out to partners in Greenwich to address these concerns.”

A Greenwich council spokeswoman said: “We sympathise with the residents of Fingal Street and thank them for bringing this to our attention. We are currently considering their petition.”

Pictured top: Franck Kiangala has lived in Fingal Street for more than 25 years (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

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