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Health and safety ends 100 years of cycling posties in Lincoln villages

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: February 27, 2014

Comments (10)

Posties in villages near Lincoln are being told to get off their iconic red bicycles due to health and safety.

Instead, 27 village rounds will transfer to van and push-trolley deliveries over the next couple of months.

Royal Mail says the end of the tradition – which is more than 100 years old – is because modern posties’ sacks are heavier and bulkier, containing more online shopping packages than letters.

The idea is to take the weight of workers’ shoulders and ensure deliveries can be made more safely and securely.

But the move has prompted one Eagle resident to voice his concerns to the Echo, describing the village postal worker now going door to door in a “smoky van” with no time for a friendly ‘good morning’.

Royal Mail spokesman Felicity MacFarlane said: “Royal Mail is making a number of changes to delivery methods as part of a £2 billion modernisation of its entire operation.

“This is part of one of the biggest transformations undertaken in UK industry and enables us to respond to changes within the postal market. As we deliver fewer letters but more parcels than we did in the past, we are removing bicycles from many of our operations across the UK.

“They are being replaced with vans and trolleys that enable us to take the weight off the shoulders of our staff and therefore deliver mail more securely and safely,”

Since 2010, Royal Mail has phased out about 14,000 post bikes nationally. The remaining 4,000 will go this year.

Communication Workers’ Union spokesman Sophie Kimber said: “We think it should be on a case by case basis.

“We don’t have a specific policy for or against.”

However, Royal Mail’s biggest rival TNT Post sees bicycle delivery as a growth area. Trevor Halstead, 55, who runs Church Street Cycles in Gainsborough, said he is sad to see the Royal Mail bikes go.

He said: “I’m also sad for Pashley who produce these bikes in Stratford-upon-Avon.

“In terms of safety, there’s no issue in delivering mail on a bike. I can understand the load issue of delivering parcels so I concede that might be a bit of a problem. I don’t see why letters and small items couldn’t still be delivered by bike.

“I remember the post lady we had in Glentham when I was a young lad.

“She used to cycle 30-odd miles on her round.”

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  • IT_MAN  |  February 28 2014, 7:39PM

    Maybe Pashley could convert their tricycle with a box on the back suitable to carry mail, could even add battery powered assistance.

  • wilwright  |  February 28 2014, 4:29PM

    The service was privatised so what do you expect. It is the same old story private companies only care about making money for the share holders and to pay the bonuses. As long as they can keep sucker the people into paying as much as possible for as little as possible then they will.

  • Pete67  |  February 28 2014, 6:46AM

    The Government did their best to make people hate Royal Mail so they could sell it off, and now the 'Elf and Safety' lot are doing the same now it's gone. It's all getting too pathetic in this Country. I'd also like to know why it's still being called 'Royal Mail' as it isn't a National asset any more.

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  • higgers  |  February 27 2014, 5:51PM

    I can assure all that this is total b@%*cks as bikes have panniers for parcels and I have to walk 60 miles a week instead of cycling. We have to walk to our start points pulling or pushing sodding trolleys. Also, we have to walk between non delivery points where we used to cycle. I have pointed this to Managers and ignored. I had a chance to talk this through with a H&S officer and he agreed with me that using trolleys has slowed us down and towns with hills are no place to push loaded trolleys up and down hills. RM have no idea what H&S is. They have a national one size fits all solution and this walking policy means I now wear out work trainers in 3 months when they don't resupply for 12 or 24 months. Crazy or what?

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  • Darrendoldrum  |  February 27 2014, 4:20PM

    Health and safety overrides health and fitness. How sad.

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  • Menshy  |  February 27 2014, 1:17PM

    Can't see how this is elf'n'safety gone mad - it seems to be a fair point to me. On-line shopping accounts for 99% of the 'solicited' mail I get so I can see why bags are getting heavier. The only letters I get from the postman are unsolicited junk mail and to be quite frank the postie could lighten his load immediately by just chopping out the middle man and making the recycling bin his first port of call.

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  • bluetac  |  February 27 2014, 12:45PM

    I see more injuries ahead, pushing a trolly around, and having to leave it at the end of the garden path is hardly secure for the have a go bag dipper walking past.

  • dean44  |  February 27 2014, 12:37PM

    health and safety gone mad

    |   -1
  • Blue_Mooner  |  February 27 2014, 9:19AM

    What a shame, another tradition disappearing. I thought we were all sending less mail these days due to t'internet?

  • rascall271  |  February 27 2014, 8:47AM

    Give them a quad bike with racks, they even have electric ones too. should be upto each postie to choose if he or she wants to use the old traditional method, Arkwright did not care for H & S when it cam to Granville nor did these in the photo link https://http://tinyurl.com/nqur94l" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/p5h3ow2 https://http://tinyurl.com/nqur94l" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/p5h3ow2

    |   8