Peter and Hazel Kelly, from Woburn Sands in Buckinghamshire, were cut off from the post for a fortnight, after their postwoman refused to deliver to their home. And what dangerous and frightening hazards were putting her off bringing the post to an elderly couple?
Hazel, aged 76, told the Daily Mail they weren't aware why they had stopped receiving post until she bumped into the postwoman, who told her it was damaging her back ducking under the hanging baskets to get to the front door.
The couple contacted their local BBC Radio station, where Peter, aged 75, pointed out that: "I've had [baskets] bigger than that. The previous post lady used to just walk through. It doesn't take a half a second to bend down, push the post through and then out."
Health and safety
As a result of the call, the Royal Mail sent a Heath and Safety inspector to the cottage, and deliveries have been resumed. A spokeswoman apologised and told the BBC: "There has been no formal delivery suspension but our postwoman has experienced difficulty on recent occasions delivering the mail." "Mr Kelly's mail has been delivered to him today and Royal Mail is discussing the matter with the customer."
A year earlier an 82-year-old from Sowerby Bridge in West Yorkshire was told she wouldn't receive post in wet conditions because it made her path too slips. The Retiree pointed out that she used the path herself in all conditions and had never had a problem.
However, delivering post can be a dangerous business, so the Royal Mail has the right to refuse delivery where they believe it could put their staff in danger. They can suspend it permanently, or temporarily until the dangerous situation is resolved. And while there was no formal suspension in this case, and no danger perceived by the Health and Safety expert, there are plenty of risks to postmen.
Last summer we reported on the street in Cornwall where deliveries were suspended because seagulls were attacking the posties - and were particularly drawn to anyone wearing red. They stopped delivering while the seagulls were breeding - which makes them particularly aggressive.
In February last year we reported on the estate where post was suspended because one resident allowed her dog to roam, and he was attacking postal delivery staff. A year earlier, it suspended deliveries to properties in one Wiltshire street because fleas were running rampant in the area and postmen were being bitten.
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