Deliveroo drivers offered 'incentives' to work, despite amber weather warning

Scottish couriers have hit out after revealing that the food delivery services they work for have offered them incentives to make deliveries on their bikes during today's storm - despite Met Office warnings.

Drivers say they have been offered incentives to go out on their bikes in high winds.

An amber warning for wind has been issued by weather forecasters, which tells people that there is a " potential risk to life and property".

But Deliveroo sent text messages telling riders in Glasgow that they would receive a £1 bonus per delivery if they braved the inclement weather. Wind speeds of around 55mph are expected to continue in Glasgow this afternoon, while a gust of 91.7 mph was recorded on the Tay Road bridge, which has been closed to traffic.

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However, the company has claimed that the incentive text message was "automatic" and "should not have been sent".

Deliveroo sent messages to drivers, encouraging them to work.

Train services have been cut and falling trees have blocked roads as high winds batter much of the country. Masonry has been reported to have fallen from buildings in Edinburgh, while Scot Rail earlier advised passengers to only travel "if necessary".

A message sent to riders from Deliveroo said: "There's a fee boost! Make an extra £1 on each completed order today."

However, the company said it also issued an email to drivers urging them to ensure they were safe in the wind.

One anonymous rider, @courierScot, tweeted screenshots of messages sent by food delivery companies Deliveroo and UberEATS.

UberEATS also sent a message telling riders it was a "great time to be on the road".

He told The Scotsman: "My neighbour's shed has just blown away, that's how bad it is out there. It's the gig economy, if you don't work, you don't get paid. I'm lucky because I have a second job, so in a situation like this, I can just take a step back, but there are a lot of people out there who can't and it is a choice between staying home and not getting paid - or risking their lives on a day like today."

He added: "The company can just turn round and say 'We're not forcing anyone to do anything,' but if they are sending out these messages, it's a very subtle way of forcing people."

UberEATS did not offer a bonus, but encouraged riders to work, saying: "It's really busy right now - a great time to be on the road."

Green MSP Patrick Harvie said: "Shameful but unsurprising that @Deliveroo seem to be ignoring the #StormAli amber weather warning and increasing incentives for Glasgow couriers to get out on the roads in these dangerous conditions."

Deliveroo said it had sent an email to riders, adding that it would amed their personal statistics on the app to reflect the bad weather.

It wrote: "Your safety is our priority and given today’s very windy weather, we want to make sure you can still make good fees while riding safely," it wrote. "If you choose to work, you’ll receive a higher fee per order until 18:00 so you can take extra care while travelling and still make good money. We'll also reduce delivery distances so you can take your time and ride safely."

A Deliveroo spokesperson said: "Rider safety is always a priority for deliveroo. With the poor weather predicted, we wrote to to all riders in the area on Wednesday morning outlining a number of measures we are taking to ensure that riders would have more time to plan their journey and travel smaller distances during the weather as per Met office guidance."