UK cyclists' organisation CTC delivered hundreds of protest letters to new Royal Mail chief executive Moya Greene yesterday in a bid to make her reconsider plans to phase out postal deliveries by bicycle.
Greene's predecessor, Adam Crozier, wanted to replace most of Royal Mail's fleet of 24,000 Pashley Mailstar bikes with trolleys and vans, citing the "safety risk" of cycling on busy roads.
His replacement has yet to make her feelings known, but Royal Mail have finally agreed to meet CTC chief executive Kevin Mayne on Monday to discuss the issue.
Mayne was joined at Greene's riverside offices in central London yesterday by Lord Berkeley, Julian Huppert MP and Meg Hillier MP from the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, along with CTC transport campaigner Adam Coffman – who was dressed in a postman's uniform, despite Royal Mail threatening CTC that this could infringe their copyright.
After arriving by bike, they handed over more than 700 protest letters from CTC members and supporters, including Reading Borough Council, urging Royal Mail to 'Keep Posties Cycling’.
Lord Berkeley said: “Adam Crozier made a decision and now I want to know if Moya Greene is looking at all the facts before implementing this ridiculous policy, which will damage the health of thousands of postal workers and increase both carbon emissions and congestion.”
Mayne added: “Postal workers, cyclists and members of the public have all expressed their concern to us over the illogical and rash way Royal Mail has made this decision. I hope by the time I meet with the Delivery Director next week, he will have taken the time to read these letters and will fully address all the issues raised.”
Before the protest, the Communications Workers’ Union had informed CTC that, due to an agreement they signed during negotiations with Royal Mail in March, they would not be challenging the decision to stop postal delivery by bike.
Yesterday, they went one step further, saying they "fully support" the changes and that "changes in road and traffic conditions have made cycles no longer suitable on many routes". A spokesman added: "We're fighting for a modern Royal Mail. You have to let go of some of the sentimentality surrounding traditional views of an industry spanning hundreds of years if you want it to have a successful future."
A Royal Mail spokesman said: "Royal Mail is making a number of changes in delivery methods as part of a £2 billion modernisation of its entire operation, and it's certainly not a straightforward switch to vans for those postmen and women who currently use bicycles. We're not getting rid of all bicycles and they will remain part of our delivery operation, with decisions taken locally."
Kevin Mayne of CTC hands protest letters to a representative of Royal Mail