Costa Coffee releases full statement on why cyclists can’t use drive-through lanes

Should the policy be changed?

Costa Coffee has released a further statement explaining why cyclists can’t use the drive-through lanes.

The coffee chain giant has begun to partially reopen stores across the UK as the government eases lockdown restrictions.

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But to minimise the risk of coronavirus spread, Costa is only offering takeaway coffees with many branches operating a drive-through only service.

This has resulted in a number of cyclists riding through the drive-through lanes to get their caffeine fix, only to be told they cannot be served due to “health and safety.”

Costa sparked a fairly heated debated on social media this week after a member of Costa’s Twitter team mistakenly said it was because cyclists aren’t taxed or insured.

Cycling Weekly has approached Costa for further details on the policy and a spokesperson said that cyclists are not allowed in the drive-through because the lanes are not “designed operationally” for bike riders.

But Costa did not formally apologise for the false information put out by the member of the social media team, despite a call from Chris Boardman.

Here is the full statement from the Costa spokesperson:

Like many Drive-Thru retailers, Costa Coffee does not serve cyclists using the Drive-Thru lane or Drive-Thru window. Costa’s Drive-Thru lanes are designed for motor vehicles and are not designed operationally (e.g. the order speaker is only triggered by a motor vehicle pulling up), or from a safety point of view for those customers on a bicycle. Safety concerns include: risk of limited visibility of cyclists whilst in the lane; and near other vehicles and carrying products whilst cycling. We are aware that since temporarily closing our stores due to COVID-19 and currently only re-opening Drive-Thru lanes and not the stores attached, some cyclists have been left disappointed when visiting a Drive-Thru. We are sorry for any disappointment this has caused and are working hard to safely re-open the attached stores as quickly as possible to cater to those customers on a bicycle or on foot. In the meantime we have over 300 stores open for takeaway, with more opening throughout the month that we would welcome cyclists to visit.

After being asked on Twitter why cyclists aren’t allowed to use the Costa drive-through on Thursday (May 4), the company was been forced to explain the policy.

A member of the social media team has also apologised repeatedly after saying the reason was because cyclists aren’t “taxed or insured to be on the road.”

Coffee giant Costa re-opened a further 181 stores on Thursday (June 4) after the coronavirus lockdown, bringing the total number of open branches to 501.



The debate was sparked after a Twitter user said: “What does Costa Coffee have against cyclists? Apparently it’s health and safety. I can’t get a coffee drive-through on a bicycle even if I put the coffees in my basket.”

British Cycling tweeted: “To be clear for anyone following this conversation, there has been no such thing as road tax in the UK since 1937. Drivers – of which many are cyclists too – pay Vehicle Excise Duty based on their emissions. All our members are insured.”

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Chris Boardman added: “Hoping to see an official apology from Costa Coffee.

“And hopefully confirmation they welcome all ‘vehicles’ at their drive-through windows.”

“What responsible company claiming to ‘look after the world we live in’ wouldn’t?”