Mail deliveries suspended after seagulls attack postie
THE Royal Mail has suspended deliveries to homes in a Scottish town after a postwoman was repeatedly attacked – by marauding seagulls.
In a scene that could have come out of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, the worker was harassed by angry nesting gulls as she tried to deliver letters to houses in Muirfield Road, New Elgin, in Moray.
The mainly elderly residents of more than 20 homes on the street have now been told by Royal Mail they will have to pick up their mail at the local post office depot until a solution to the gull menace can be found.
Residents have criticised the decision saying that, while the birds are a nuisance and very protective of their chicks, they do not pose a danger.
Jennifer Bird, a spokeswoman for the Royal Mail in Scotland, said it had taken action after the female postal worker had become the target for repeated attacks in the street where the gulls were nesting.
She said: “The regular postwoman delivering to Muirfield Road has been experiencing swooping attacks by seagulls as she delivered her round over the past few weeks.
“Other postmen have also had to deal with the same issue delivering to this area.
“The safety of our people is paramount to Royal Mail, and these swooping attacks have made it difficult for her to continue to do her job.
“Unfortunately, these frightening attacks have meant that this week we have temporarily suspended deliveries to some addresses in Muirfield Road.”
Ms Bird promised deliveries would return once the area has been declared safe. “These kinds of attacks do occur at this time of year across the country as gulls are nesting,” she said. “We apologise to those customers affected, and we will resume deliveries as soon as it is safe for our people to do so.
“We are continuing to monitor the situation. Customers affected have been written to, and they can contact the delivery office to make alternative delivery arrangements.”
However, residents believe there has been an overreaction.
George McPhee, 66, said: “The seagulls are a problem – they are a bloody pest – but I have been 41 years in the same house and they have never hurt anybody. Either the posties have to toughen up or somebody has to remove these gulls.”
Newspapers, milk and other non-postal deliveries had been unaffected, he said. “Even during the Blitz everybody was getting their post.
“You can’t just down tools. If you are a postie, you are a postie. If they have to issue them hard hats, then so be it.”
Earlier this year, Moray Council warned it was considering issuing Anti-Social Behaviour Orders to any residents in the area who ignored warnings not to feed the birds.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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