A bizarre postal delivery system has been agreed at a block of flats near Waterloo. After a woman in the flats was accused of having assaulted a Royal Mail employee, and the tyres on the delivery van were slashed, post was suspended. The company only agreed to reinstate it with a very strange set-up.
The London SE1 community website reported that deliveries were originally suspended in July last year, after allegations of assault. They started up again after pressure from local councillors, but in December the postal van tyres were slashed, and deliveries were halted again.
The Daily Mail reported that after intervention from Maria Linforth-Hall, a local councillor, the Royal Mail agreed the conditions under which they would start up again. At the moment it delivers to the 153 flats in Rowland Hill House on three days a week, on the condition that 69-year-old Linforth-Hall accompanies the postie.
In addition, the company was worried about residents attacking the van, so two volunteers from the estate stand guard while the postie delivers the mail. The volunteers are also women over the retirement age.
According to The Evening Standard, Southwark Council has complained to Ofcom in the hope that Royal Mail will be persuaded to go back to less unusual arrangements. However, the company has every right to suspend deliveries where it believes its delivery staff are at risk, and there are plenty of times in the past when they have used this right.
Unusual reasons for stopping deliveries
Five of the most unusual reasons given for a pause in deliveries include:
1. A couple in Woburn Sands in Buckinghamshire missed their deliveries for a fortnight, after the postie said their hanging baskets were too big, and posed a hazard. There was no formal suspension, and after the couple approached the BBC, the Royal Mail sent a health and safety inspector to check the size of the baskets - at which point deliveries resumed.
2. A woman in West Yorkshire was told she wouldn't receive her post when it rained, because her house was only accessible by a path which became slippery when wet. The 82-year-old resident pointed out that she used the path in all conditions and seemed to be managing.
3. In 2013 we reported on the road on Perranporth which didn't receive mail for weeks after seagulls nested nearby. They were attacking pedestrians, and were particularly aggressive towards anyone in red - so the Royal Mail staff suffered gull-related injuries. The post had to wait until the latest batch of chicks were hatched and the gulls moved on.
4. In 2012, post was suspended in a road in Chippenham, because a flea infestation at one of the houses had become so bad that it posed a risk to anyone approaching the property.
5. A year later one postie refused to deliver a letter to a home in Clapham, and made a note on the envelope explaining it couldn't be delivered because of a 'massive spider web in front gate'. The letter was delivered by a colleague the following day, who added the note 'What!'
Deliveries on AOL Money
Shock as mouse crawls out of Tesco delivery
Dodgy delivery driver caught on camera
Courier decides to leave delivery in the bin