ROYAL Mail was accused of shunning the customers it needs most after choosing not to replace a postbox damaged in a car crash.
Residents in Maltby have been angered at the decision — and being told to walk to neighbouring village Hooton Levitt to send their post.
The postbox on the corner of Rotherham Road and Rolleston Avenue was removed after being hit by a vehicle.
Royal Mail says it meets requirements because there is a postbox 381 metres away at Lilly Hall Road and another 531 metres away on Joan Lane, Hooton Levitt.
But both these are measures as the crow flies and do not take into account the actual pedestrian route.
Sylvia Helliwell (77) has lived on Milton Street for 17 years. She said: “The postbox was very handy.
“What Royal Mail say about Lilly Hall Road and Joan Lane (in Hooton Levitt) is not true. Both are much, much further. I could not, in any circumstances, walk to either. I’d need to catch two buses to Lilly Hall Road, and there is no bus to Joan Lane .
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“Royal Mail have put stamps up again, which is bad enough, but to deprive me of a postbox as well, is catastrophic.
“What’s up, Royal Mail, don’t you like us oldies? We don’t all want to use the internet.”
Glenys Hooper said the main reason the postbox was needed was the large amount of elderly residents in the area without access to vehicles.
She added: “They have to use the bus or have a long walk to Tesco’s or to the one on Cliff Hills, plus the state of the pavements in Maltby are very poor.”
Gillian Steele said it was “crucial” to replace the damaged postbox.
She added: “Joan Lane is in the next village. It’s an estimated 25 to 30-minute walk up a long, steep hill.
“Lilly Hall Road is a 40-minute round trip, via two short steep hills. “Neither alternative would be accessible to the elderly or anyone struggling to walk.”
Ronnie Laws said: “As there are many pensioners living in the area, as well as businesses, a local postal facility is needed.
“The postboxes pointed out by Royal Mail are at the top of very steep hills, which are insurmountable by the elderly and infirm. The missing postbox was used well and is greatly missed.”
Campaigner Simon Ball, the Conservative candidate for Maltby West and Hellaby in the local elections, has written to Royal Mail calling for them to reconsider.
He said: “By not replacing this postbox, Royal Mail are stopping the very customers that they need to keep their business afloat. It makes no sense. Plenty of people around that area use this facility.
“Royal Mail have stated that the alternative postboxes are within the half-mile distance allowed by Ofcom, but this is taken as the crow flies. It would mean walking through fields to the next village, this being totally unacceptable for elderly, disabled and child customers.
“How can a company ask customers to do this so they can use their service? It does not make commercial sense.”
Regulator Ofcom requires Royal Mail to ensure 98 per cent of all UK households are within half a mile of a postbox.
A spokesman for the mail service said: “Having taken into account all relevant factors, including the number of postboxes in the area within half a mile, and the balance of economy against service provision, I am sorry to advise that we are unable to reinstall the postbox as requested.”
The Advertiser has approached Royal Mail