Campaign to rid Sid Valley of defunct mail boxes

Royal Mail Pouch Box used as a target for graffiti

Royal Mail Pouch Box used as a target for graffiti - Credit: Archant

Royal Mail Pouch Boxes branded an ‘eyesore’ and potential danger to children

Royal Mail Pouch Box

Royal Mail Pouch Box - Credit: Archant

Devon’s highways boss has launched a campaign to rid the Sid Valley of defunct mail boxes that he has branded an ‘eyesore’ and potential hazard.

Councillor Stuart Hughes is calling on the Royal Mail to remove the rusting grey cabinets and said he has identified a number around the parish in what he calls a ‘dangerous’ state. They are also a common target for graffiti.

He believes the ‘pouch boxes’ were installed many years ago when postmen and women made deliveries by bike and used them as points to pick up new bags of mail, but says they have not been in service for a long time.

Cllr Hughes said: “I have got a bit of a campaign to get rid of them all. The bottom rusts out and, if a child comes around and hits their head, it could be nasty.

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“Part of the approval given to place these boxes on the highway was a condition that - as and when - they were deemed not to be used, or in a poor state or dangerous state, then they would be removed.

“There is one example in Windsor Mead, Sidford, and there are concerns the sharp, rusty metal poses a danger to young children, who could very well catch and cut themselves on them.

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“I would hope that the Royal Mail will remove both this and other offending boxes that are rusting away and then set about removing the other boxes around Sidmouth and other locations in Devon, as they have served their purpose and are surplus to requirement and aren’t pleasing to the eye.”

Cllr Hughes has also identified boxes in Newlands Close, Sidford Road and outside St Peter’s Church, Sidford. He says the chief executive of East Devon District Council has asked the company to remove them.

A Royal Mail spokesman said, “We are grateful to the councillor for bringing the matter to our attention. We will ensure any unused pouch boxes are removed.”

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