Postman refuses delivery because of spider's web


spider's web

Stuart Robertson-Reed, a 42-year-old from Clapham in South London, received a letter - one day later than he was expecting. On the front was a note from the postman on the day it was due, saying that he had been unable to gain access to the property because of a 'massive spider web in front gate.'

So just how terrifying must this web have been, and did the postie have the right to refuse delivery?

Robertson-Reed told the Daily Mail that he had seen the spider by the front gate on the day, but had left it alone to avoid breaking the web. The spider in question was the size of a 10p piece.

The letter was delivered by a different employee a day later, who added the note 'What!' to the one made by his colleague.

The Royal Mail apologised to him and told the Daily Mirror that 'Alternative arrangements should have been made.'

Does it have the right?

It seems bizarre, but arguably the postie was within their rights. If they were genuinely concerned for their own welfare in delivering to the property, they had the right to refuse. And with the number of scare stories about poisonous spiders doing the rounds, his concern may be more understandable.

The Royal Mail has the right to temporarily or permanently suspend deliveries in these instances - although they should offer alternative arrangements, such as delivering to a neighbour, or leaving letters at the post office for collection.


In many instances this seems perfectly sensible. Back in February, an entire estate in Salford stopped receiving post for a while because a dog was being allowed to roam free and had attacked two postmen.

At the end of last year, it suspended deliveries to properties in one Wiltshire street because fleas were running rampant in the area and postmen were suffering from bites.

Slightly more unusually - but equally painfully - this summer residents of one Perranporth road were forced to collect their post themselves, after posties refused to take the risk of attacks by nearby nesting seagulls.

And then there are always the stranger stories, including the 82-year-old who was told she wouldn't receive post in bad weather because the path (which she uses every day) was too slippy.

And a couple of years ago there was the retired banker from Bury St Edmunds who had his deliveries suspended because his garden was overgrown.

In all of these instances the service was officially suspended. In the case of the alarming spider, it does not seem to have reached quite this stage.

The comforting news is that at any given time, the Royal Mail is delivering to 99.9% of all homes in the UK, so suspensions of any kind are few and far between. So unless a particularly nasty-looking spider takes up residence any time soon, your deliveries should not be under threat.