McDonald’s stops cyclist using drive thru to buy food for son

UNHAPPY MEAL Alistair Thompson
UNHAPPY MEAL Alistair Thompson
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ALL he wanted to do was treat his son to a McDonald’s Happy Meal.

But because Alistair Thompson went through The Pompey Centre restaurant drive thru on a bicycle, he had to leave because it was against health and safety regulations.

Mr Thompson, who is a councillor on Portsmouth City Council representing the Hilsea ward, had been out shopping with his son Edward, four, when he fancied doing something he’d like.

Mr Thompson pedalled into the drive-through and ordered through the electronic speaker – but was stunned when a worker at the next window said he couldn’t go any further.

Mr Thompson hadn’t parked up his bicycle and gone in to pay because it had a trailer on the back for his son which would obstruct traffic. A car in front offered to get his order, but the same worker said that wasn’t allowed.

In the end, Mr Thompson reluctantly left – but he’s since sent a letter to the fast food giant demanding to know why such laws are in place, especially as there are cycle lanes across the city and one which takes you up to that McDonald’s in Fratton.

The company has told him someone will come back with a proper response. He said there are no signs which say bikes are banned.

‘I got to the pay window and I was told “you can’t stay here,” he said.

‘I had been queuing just like everyone else. The worker was a jobsworth. A woman in the car in front said she would buy the Happy Meal for me but the worker said “no, you can’t do that”. It was complete nonsense.

‘I was told I had to park up and pay in the branch.

‘I have written to McDonald’s headquarters and I am awaiting a response. I wouldn’t have minded so much if the food was for me, but it was a treat. It was the attitude which I didn’t like.’

A McDonald’s spokeswoman said: ‘McDonald’s supports the health and environmental benefits of cycling. However it is our policy not to serve cyclists through the drive-through lane.

‘The Highway Code, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and our own hygiene and safety department were consulted when forming this policy.’