Royal Mail cuts off Enid, 82, because her path is ‘too slippery’

82-year old Enid Sugden in front of the path leading to her Pennine home
82-year old Enid Sugden in front of the path leading to her Pennine home
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A PENSIONER has been told that her post will not be delivered to her door any more - because the footpath she uses every day is “too slippery”.

Grandma-of-five Enid Sugden, 82, has lived in her cottage in Sowerby Bridge, near Halifax, for the past 50 years, with no problem receiving mail.

But after noticing her post hadn’t appeared for a few weeks, the widow quizzed Royal Mail staff and only then did they tell her that postal staff were refusing to deliver to her house because the footpath was too slippery.

Mrs Sugden said: “This house is 300 years old and post has been delivered for most of that time. I’ve lived here 50 years and not had any problems before.

“They said the footpath’s slippery. It’s regularly used by locals and there’s not a problem.”

She added that Royal Mail had offered to deliver her mail to one of her neighbours at the top of the path, but she said she couldn’t expect her neighbours to do that every day.

Royal Mail spokeswoman Felicity McFarlane said the decision was made after a postwoman had slipped and injured herself on stepping stones covered in algae and moss six weeks ago.

She said: “Unfortunately, the narrow road is also in the same condition and hazardous for the same reason. Suspension of delivery is always a last resort for Royal Mail.

“The arrangement is in place where the postman or postwoman will deliver mail when conditions underfoot are dry via the road.

“We have also offered the customer to have her mail delivered to a nearby address. This offer has not been taken up.”

The news of Mrs Sugden’s post problems came on the day that the Royal Mail pledged to take more action against owners of dogs that attack postal workers after a new report called for tougher legislation.

The postal group said it will actively pursue legal action against the owners of dangerous dogs and take a more “robust” approach to suspending deliveries to addresses where attacks take place.

The moves follow publication of an independent inquiry into dog attacks on postal staff, which the Royal Mail said numbered more than 3,000 in the year to April.

Former High Court judge Sir Gordon Langley recommended that new legislation should be introduced to provide tougher legal sanctions against owners of dangerous dogs.

The report pointed out that action cannot be taken if an attack takes place on private property, limiting legal protection available to postmen and women.

The Communication Workers Union, which has criticised the Government for failing to take action on dangerous dogs, said yesterday’s report should be the catalyst needed to bring action.

The union said the number of postal workers suffering dog attacks was nearer 5,000 a year.

Sir Gordon’s report called on the Government to repeal current legislation and provide a new statute so that legal action can be taken against dog owners, wherever an attack takes place.

New laws have already been introduced in Scotland and Northern Ireland, with legislation planned in Wales.

Sir Gordon said: “It is a matter of real concern to learn of the extent and frequency of attacks on postal workers and to find that for a considerable time there has been almost general agreement not only on the inadequacies of the present law in England and Wales but also on the nature of the reforms required to address it, but to date it remains unchanged.”

Royal Mail chairman Donald Brydon said: “Dog attacks cause injuries and terrible trauma to our staff.

“Nobody should have to endure this and our staff are at an increased risk of such attacks simply because of the job they do.

“We welcome the findings in Sir Gordon Langley’s independent report, especially his call for an urgent reform of the laws in England and Wales. We have also taken on board his comments that Royal Mail should take a more robust approach with customers whose dogs attack postmen and women. We will adjust our policies immediately.”