ROYAL Mail has stopped delivering post to homes on some unmade roads, citing health and safety fears.

The decision has infuriated scores of residents in Benfleet who were given the news on Saturday...ironically by post.

Doreen and Meredith Chatterton, aged 88 and 89, of Catherine Road, Benfleet are among those who have been told they have received their last post.

Mrs Chatterton said: “Royal Mail has said it’s not delivering any mail at all to the unmade roads, and there’s quite a lot in this area. We all had the letter from Royal Mail on Saturday and it starts now so we didn’t even get any warning.”

The letter stated there had been “on several occasions a number of near miss accidents” which prompted a health and safety review that found an “unacceptable risk” for delivery to homes on unmade roads.

But the couple have lived on the road since 1969 and said it had never been a problem before.

Mrs Chatterton said: “What they could do is park in Clarence Road and walk a couple of minutes down the footpath.

“That’s how they used to deliver the mail in the old days.”

Mrs Chatterton said they would now be forced to travel 25 minutes each way to the sorting office to collect their post.

She said: “We don’t want to be doing that every day, especially with winter coming.”

John Baxter, 66, who also lives in Catherine Road, said: “The letter arrived on Saturday and said this is your last post.

“All of a sudden they’ve brought in these changes overnight. It’s got to be a cost cutting measure and taking vans off the route means someone’s going to lose their job.”

Sheila Stainer has lived in Thundersley Park Road for 30 years and says she will struggle to get to the sorting office because of a spinal disability.

She said: “The roads are not made up because we’re on greenbelt, but I’ve never known one person to fall off their bike or slip on the road.

“They’ve done it without consultation from everyone or anyone.”

Mel South, 60, of Wensley Road has already submitted an initial stage one appeal against the ban.

In his appeal letter, he says: “I am a trained manager in both health and safety and the preparation of risk assessments so I am aware that you must have an accident record log which I request site of.

“Should you not be able to re-instate deliveries this will be essential at future stages, especially if the residents enlist professional help.”

Royal Mail has three months to respond to the initial appeal, before it can move to stage two and three appeals.

Residents in Bower Road and Rhoda Road have also been affected Royal Mail couldn’t explain the motives behind their decision yesterday despite repeated calls from the Echo.