Royal Mail to resume deliveries in 'health and safety risk' village

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The Independent Online

A remote village is to have its postal service restored after the local council agreed to carry out road improvements so post workers could avoid back injuries.

The village of Booze, in North Yorkshire, was told last week that Royal Mail had abandoned deliveries there after concerns over the state of the country lane, which health and safety inspectors said posed an "unacceptable" risk.

The people of Booze, and local politicians, were indignant and condemned the decision, adding that other isolated villages and communities could fall victim to the health and safety bureaucracy.

However, North Yorkshire County Council has stepped in and agreed to carry out improvements to the mile-long lane that leads to the hamlet. Deliveries will start again in September.

Hazel Harker, whose family have been farming in Booze since 1945, has had to collect her mail from a friend's house after the deliveries were stopped two-and-a-half weeks ago. She said: "It seems as though common sense has prevailed... a mail service is something you expect in the 21st century, and we felt that we were being cut off from the wider world."

While the 11 households of Booze will soon have their mail delivered again, eight properties in nearby Arkengarthdale are expected to be left without services. The county council says its improvements will not take in the private tracks up to Arkengarthdale, meaning the Royal Mail's health and safety concerns will remain.