Since March 2021, only electric bicycles and scooters are allowed in pedestrian streets.
Scooter delivery men must park their vehicle outside the area and continue on foot.
Worried, they had demonstrated against this municipal ban.
It was six months ago. The Nantes town hall decided to ban deliveries of scooters in the pedestrian area of the city center in order to fight against “nuisances” and strengthen “road safety”. The measure, imposed when restaurants were only allowed to offer take-out at the time, triggered the anger of delivery people encouraged by platforms (Uber Eats, Deliveroo) to work ever faster. These less fortunate autoentrepreneurs had even undertaken a few demonstrations to obtain a relaxation of the municipal decree, in vain. “We had to intervene,” remembers Thibaut Guiné, city councilor in charge of urban logistics. In barely a year, scooters had overwhelmingly replaced bicycles. There were many upsets of discontent from pedestrians, residents and traders."
And today, what is the balance sheet?
"The returns are more than positive", says the city, considering that the "decrease in the flow" of scooters is "extremely significant".
"We can see that the delivery men working on scooters are now on foot in the pedestrian area," says Thibaut Guiné.
Some continue to drive there, but it is marginal.
The waiting points were also dispatched in several places.
We also see that the bikes are back for deliveries.
It's a good sign.
"We work less so we earn less"
Corinne Rotach, inhabitant of the city center and member of the Ras le scoot association, confirms. "It's better, there are clearly fewer passages," she assesses. We see delivery men on foot, which never happened before. "But, she nuances," we always come across them riding a scooter, some even continue to park right in front of the restaurant, especially at mealtimes. I have spoken to certain restaurateurs about it, but they turn a blind eye ”.
The delivery people do not do the same analysis of the situation. Many describe "a drop in turnover" and "greater physical fatigue" since the municipal ban. Waiting at the bottom of the rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Lassana, for example, has chosen to keep his scooter. “I have to park it there and continue on foot carrying 6 kg controls, sometimes 8 kg. Often I run so as not to be late. It has become a hassle! We work less than before so we earn less money. At his side, another delivery man decked out in a Deliveroo satchel emphasizes that "the city is too big for the bike". “When we have a delivery to Orvault, it is only possible with a scooter,” he insists. But now you have to make a detour so as not to cross the forbidden zone. So we're wasting time. "
"Everyone will have to adapt"
Delivery man for Uber Eats, Mathieu has always traveled.
“The city's ban was sudden.
The delivery people did not have time to adapt.
Many have left the city center for fear of fines which are still extremely dissuasive [135 euros].
Some have switched to electric bicycles, but it is not cheap.
They manage by getting kits on the Internet.
A few cables away, Simon gets on his scooter in the middle of a pedestrian street.
It is not outlawed because it circulates as an electric motor, authorized, unlike thermals.
We can obviously respond to more orders than with a bicycle, ”he explains, while acknowledging that he now has“ less competition in downtown restaurants ”.
At the town hall of Nantes, the elected official in charge of urban logistics, said he was “concerned” about the working conditions of the majority of delivery people.
“The problem is that of the social model imposed by the platforms, considers Thibaut Guiné.
It is a complex subject, the community cannot do everything.
It is hoped that this prohibition measure will help to switch models towards more just situations.
There are already changes taking place: the Just Eat platform has opted for all bicycles with real employment contracts, Naofood [bicycle deliveries] has grown… Everyone will have to adapt.
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