Postal deliveries have still not been reinstated in Meltham months after a postie was bitten by a dog ... and there is no timescale for when letters will once more pop through letterboxes there.
Royal Mail suspended deliveries to addresses in and around Golcar Brow Road following the incident on Friday, July 22, when the postman suffered serious injuries. The dog had to be hit several times with a shovel before it would let go and the man needed plastic surgery.
Since then people living on Nab Crescent, Copley Avenue and Deer Hill Court have to collect their mail from Holmfirth Post Office.
The ban remains because not all dog owners there have replied to a letter from Royal Mail explaining what they need to do before postal deliveries can resume.
The letter – sent to 25 addresses – asks dog owners to give a written guarantee that their dog will be kept secure in the boundary of their property and provide and install an external letter box so delivery staff don’t need to enter the property. A separate letter has gone to all residents setting out what is required of all dog owners.
The ban is causing significant problems for people who are missing vital health and court dates because they are not getting their mail.
The Examiner asked Royal Mail very specific yet straightforward questions about what happens now ... but even though these were posed twice Royal Mail keeps coming back with a generalised response.
We asked Royal Mail three questions:
Are you now assured that the dog which bit the postal worker is under control?
Why are you wanting reassurances from other dog owners in the area whose pets have not attacked Royal Mail staff?
Why are you doing this just in Meltham (seeking these reassurances) and not nationwide as there will be several dogs on just about every street in the country?
Meltham resident Marcus Sykes posted on the Examiner Facebook site: “Royal Mail know the dog was removed on the day of this tragedy to the postie but say they are waiting for police to confirm it’s safe.
“They have emailed me saying the fences are too low and there is nowhere for postal workers to retreat to if attacked. I say which estate is there where there are fences big enough for a dog not to jump and which estate is there where postal workers have somewhere to retreat to?”
Lee Valentine added: “And what about all the people that have lost hospital appointments?”
Royal Mail said in response to the questions:
“Dog attacks are a serious issue, with eight postmen and women on average being attacked every day across the UK, and when it is unsafe for our postmen and women to deliver we will, and do, suspend deliveries.
“Royal Mail fully understands the frustration of residents whose deliveries are suspended. As two postmen and women have been injured delivering in this area, the threat to our people still exists. We are keen to reinstate all deliveries as soon as possible and as soon as it is judged safe to do so.
“We have been continually reviewing the ongoing suspension of mail to the Copley Avenue area and are doing so again urgently this week. We will notify our affected customers directly of the outcome. We would like to reassure our customers and elected representatives that our review has been escalated and is being treated as a priority.
“In the meantime, customers can collect mail from Holmfirth Delivery Office or arrange delivery to a neighbour outside the area of the suspension but within the HD9 area, free of charge.”