No post delivered to entire estate because of one dog

Updated: 

Postal worker

The Royal Mail has suspended deliveries to an entire estate in Leeds, after a postman was bitten by a dog. The 162 households now have to travel a mile to the nearest depot to collect their mail. The residents have complained that the Royal Mail is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

And it's not the first time that a mail suspension has raised eyebrows.

The Greenthorp Estate in Leeds has not had any post delivered in a month, and now notices have gone up around the estate saying that deliveries have been suspended.

The Royal Mail confirmed to the Daily Mail that deliveries were not going ahead. Ironically it also said it would be writing to anyone affected by the suspension. It added that this was a matter of health and safety.

While there was no official confirmation, the Yorkshire Post reported that the suspension is thought to have come after a postman was bitten by a dog that had been allowed to roam free in the estate.

This isn't an end to the matter, as the Royal Mail told the Post that it was in contact with the owner to seek assurances that the dog would not be allowed to roam in future: allowing deliveries to begin again.

Can this be right?

The locals are outraged, but the Royal Mail is clear that it has a duty of care to its employees, and cannot knowingly send them into a dangerous situation.

They are within their rights to do this - they don't have to deliver post where they believe there is a risk to staff. They can suspend deliveries on a temporary basis until an issue is resolved, and if no solution can be found, they may suspend deliveries permanently.

Householders can make alternative arrangements, and pick up the post themselves or have it delivered to a neighbour. However, if the Royal Mail incurs extra costs in carrying out these arrangements, you may get a bill.

Suspended

They haven't been shy to use these rights either. In a very similar situation back in February, mail was suspended to a Salford estate because of a dog that had been allowed to roam and had attacked two postal workers - damaging a post bag. In this instance, the dog owner was persuaded to keep the dog under control and deliveries began again.

However, there have been more unusual uses of these rights. A couple of years ago a retired banker from Bury St Edmunds had deliveries suspended because his garden was so overgrown that it was considered a health and safety risk.

In the last year there have been a number of suspensions because of nesting seagulls - including one in Perranporth, Cornwall and one in Eastbourne.

At the end of last year, deliveries were suspended deliveries in one Wiltshire street because fleas were running rampant. And around the same time it refused to deliver to an OAP in West Yorkshire in wet weather because it made her path too slippy.

Perhaps more bizarrely was an incident last month. Post was never formally suspended, but a postal worker refused to deliver one morning, writing a note on the letter explaining it was because of a 'massive' spider's web on the front gate. The letter had been delivered the following day - when the second postal worker had added the comment 'What!'.