Concerns over road safety have been raised after an undercover BBC reporter found that Amazon delivery drivers regularly work more than 11 hours a day and break speed limits to stay on schedule.
The undercover reporter, from BBC Inside Out West, found that drivers were expected to deliver up to 200 parcels a day, with some saying that time was not even allowed for toilet breaks.
The current law means that delivery drivers are not allowed to drive for more than 11 hours per day, but the BBC report suggests many delivery drivers do so.
Following a number of complaints, the BBC reporter got a job with AHC services, one of many agencies which supplies drivers to Amazon Logistics in the south of England.
The BBC says that during his two weeks at the company, the reporter was told by an agency supervisor he ‘didn’t have to worry about a seatbelt’ because ‘the police won’t stop’ a delivery driver. Some agency drivers also say the system does not allow for traffic jams or factor in time for breaks.
In a statement, Amazon said: "As independent contractors of our delivery providers, drivers deliver at their own pace, take breaks at their discretion, and are able to choose the suggestion route or develop their own."
Oxford-based AHC dismissed claims put to them by the BBC as "historic and based on isolated examples which occurred over a year ago", and said: "Since then we have made changes to the way our checks are carried out and taken a number of steps to improve our ways of working."
The firm said it took road safety and the welfare of its contracted drivers ‘extremely seriously’, and that drivers were free to choose when they worked.
BBC Inside Out West’s undercover report can be seen on BBC One at 19:30 tonight (11 Nov).