The Royal Mail have revealed the reason behind a missing post box in Minchinhampton.
Earlier this year, residents of Minchinhampton gathered to protest about the absent post box one Dr Brown’s Road, which was believed to have been knocked over by a horse in late 2021. Royal Mail removed it shortly afterwards.
The protest group were joined by Minchinhampton’s county councillor, Cllr Chloe Turner, who said: “This well-used post box is very much missed by our community, especially by the many older and less mobile residents who cannot easily reach alternative facilities elsewhere in the parish.
“Royal Mail have so far ignored our letters of complaint, taking no account of their own deadlines for response, so we will have to seek help from our MP and the Ombudsman.
Cllr Turner said that other communities have been similarly affected, both locally and across Stroud District. Boxes have been removed and not replaced in Woodchester, Butterow, Waterley Bottom and Stinchcombe.
She added: “We call on Royal Mail to do the right thing by isolated rural communities such as ours and – at a minimum – consult with residents about local need before considering the removal of these vital community facilities.”
Cllr Catherine Braun said she has also had difficulty getting information from Royal Mail about missing post boxes in her ward of Wotton-under-Edge.
One box, in Oldhill Lane, Stinchcombe, was not replaced despite a campaign by the community. “This was very disappointing,” said Cllr Braun. “Stinchcombe residents now have to walk along busy main roads to get to alternative post boxes – and many choose to drive instead, which increases pollution and traffic volumes.”
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We are always very sorry for any inconvenience caused by the removal of a postbox. This can become necessary for various reasons, which we list on our website at: Postbox Removal & Relocation Help (royalmail.com).
“The box on Dr Brown’s Road, Minchinhampton, had to be removed as it had been knocked down by cattle. As cattle continue to roam loose locally, the box could be knocked down again if we reinstalled it at the same site, so we have not done so. We have not installed a replacement post box nearby, as there are already several other post boxes that can be used in the local area.
“We understand the importance that customers attach to our network of 115,000 post boxes nationwide, and are committed to ensuring that 98% of our customers live within half a mile of a postbox. Customers can find details of their nearest postboxes on our website at Services near you | Royal Mail Group Ltd, which shows that that the nearest box to Dr Brown’s Road in Minchinhampton is 0.2 miles away at Windmill Road, Minchinhampton. Our website also lists postboxes within half a mile of Woodchester, Butterow, Waterley Bottom and Stinchcombe.”