The Royal Mail has been forced to suspend deliveries in a seaside street because posties are being attacked – by seagulls
Bosses say postal workers are being dive-bombed by up to 20 birds which are so aggressive they pose a health and safety risk.
Several residents in Berry Drive, Paignton, Devon, have now been told to collect their letters themselves from the main sorting office.
In a letter, local Delivery Office Manager Martin Hudson said the ”level of threat” means residents must provide an ”alternative delivery site” for postmen to drop off their mail.
It said: ”I’m writing to let you know that we’re experiencing difficulties in delivering mail to your address because of the actions of seagulls nesting at your property.
”As a result, a health-and-safety risk assessment has been carried out and has determined that the level of threat requires action to be taken to ensure the safety of our delivery staff.
”While Royal Mail is committed to providing a consistent daily delivery to all addresses, we also place the highest priority on the safety of our employees.”
The problems started after the birds nested on the roofs of properties and began swooping to mark their territory.
No postmen have reportedly been hit so far but two neighbours have been left with gashes to their heads after gull attacks.
People in the street say they are confused about what to do and are angry at the Royal Mail for halting deliveries to their homes.
Resident Teressa Lamble said she is ”bewildered” by the ruling.
She said: ”My problem is not with the gulls or with the postmen – it’s with the Royal Mail. Why are we being picked on?
”They say I have to make alternative arrangements for my mail to be delivered, but they haven’t specified what they could be.
”I’m bewildered. What do they expect me to do? I’m quite happy to meet the postman up the road if they ring me.
”There are at least three nests on properties here. We’ve tried everything to get rid of the gulls, but each year they are here. We all go out with our umbrellas up.”
Another resident added: ”I’ve never heard of deliveries being stopped because of seagulls. It’s ridiculous.
”The gulls have been a problem here, but we all manage to get by. We can provide the postmen with a helmet and umbrella if they want.”
A Royal Mail spokesman said deliveries had only been halted to certain addresses in the street near to where seagulls were nesting.
He said: ”We continue to make deliveries to customers in Berry Drive, but there have been recent incidents where our staff have been attacked by up to 20 seagulls, making it difficult to access all addresses in the street.
”We continue to make every effort to get mail to customers and there are no plans to suspend deliveries to Berry Drive.”