‘Off yer bike!’- Sidmouth posties banned from bicycles

PUBLISHED: 10:06 04 April 2011 | UPDATED: 12:48 04 April 2011

Sidmouth postman. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 6401-13-11AW

Sidmouth postman. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 6401-13-11AW

Archant

POSTMEN have been ordered off their bikes after Royal Mail bosses abolished traditional two-wheel deliveries in Sidmouth.

POSTMEN have been ordered off their bikes after Royal Mail bosses abolished traditional two-wheel deliveries in Sidmouth.

Pedal-power has been ditched in favour of vans and high-capacity trolleys amid health and safety fears and a £2billion national modernisation scheme.

Driving forces behind the change say halting a century of cycling posties will improve efficiency, put the brakes on accidents and prevent injuries to staff.

One irked resident has claimed post is now arriving later and said: “It’s health and safety gone mad.”

The move has also been branded environmentally un-friendly.

Postmen and women on their rounds remained tight-lipped over how they felt this week- one feared “getting in trouble.”

A Royal Mail spokesman told the Herald pairs of posties now set out in vans- with the entire mail load for specific areas- then use light-weight, high capacity, trolleys for drop offs.

“An entire round can be carried out without a need to return to the sorting office,” he said.

“There are no more cycles in Sidmouth. We’ve had a mixed reaction- it’s an enormous change,” he said.

“The make-up of the mail bag is changing,” said the spokesman, adding the number of letters being handled is in decline, but small packages have increased due to a boom in internet shopping.

A Higher Brook Meadow resident in Sidford, who didn’t want to be named, claimed post there, in Fortescue and Sidbury was arriving later since bike deliveries were banned at the beginning of March.

“Its health and safety gone mad,” he said.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous. People aren’t very happy about what is going on.”

Devon County Council cabinet member for highways and transportation, Stuart Hughes, felt Royal Mail chiefs performed a “u-turn” after his authority pleaded against the cycle move last year.

“It’s a crying shame to think we won’t see our local posties on their bikes any more,” he said.

“I appreciate Royal Mail is investing in transforming its collection and delivery, but as carbon reduction is part of that investment, use of bicycles would seem to fit in perfectly with its future operations to reduce emissions.”


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