A POSTMAN who is too frightened to cross the road has stopped delivering some morning mail.
And Royal Mail has backed him, citing health and safety regulations. That means affected customers must now wait until as late as 3.30pm for their daily delivery.
Roy Bailey said he noticed that, sometime in April, his early morning post had ceased and is now delivered late afternoon.
The Great Shefford resident said he challenged the postman, who was new to the round.
Mr Bailey said: “He replied that it was too dangerous to cross the road and that this was just the way it was going to be in future.
“There was no consultation, no warning – nothing.
“Yet, for decades, every postman before him managed to cross the road without incident.”
As a result, said Mr Bailey, he and others like him must now wait for the postman to complete his round and drive back towards Hungerford in the afternoon so that he is on the ‘right’ side of the road.
He added: “This is a ridiculous and unacceptable state of affairs. I have lived in this house since 1979 and the post has always been delivered on the way into the village in the morning.
“Getting the only post of the day around 3.30pm is not acceptable. If the delivery contains something that needs responding to that day, there is hardly enough time to deal with it before the 4.30pm collection deadline.
“If there is a cheque that needs to be paid into the bank in Newbury, it is likely that they would be closed by the time I got there.”
Mr Bailey even offered the use of his driveway and said: “It would be no more unsafe for him to do this than it is for my wife and I to drive in and out each day.”
But his protestations so far have not swayed Royal Mail.
Ray Matthews, of the Royal Mail Delivery Office in Hungerford High Street, has replied, stating: “We have a duty of care regarding the safety of our postmen and women and are duty bound to listen to any concerns they have on their respective deliveries, particularly when it comes to health and safety.
“Your current postman has expressed concerns that crossing the road to your address on his way out is dangerous and he does not wish to place himself at risk.
“I have spoken to our SHE (safety, health and environment) advisor who states that, if the postman feels at risk in any way, he should not be expected to place himself in jeopardy.”
Mr Matthews stated that Royal Mail was not breaking its Universal Service Obligation, which requires it to deliver to residential addresses by 3.30pm.
He then offered to “perform an in-depth risk assessment on the area in question to evaluate the risks posed”.