Parcels and letters are stuck in limbo

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First class FAIL! Parcels and letters are stuck in limbo as new London cycle lane stops Royal Mail van from reaching Post Office – as latest anti-car scheme leaves hundreds without post

  • Balham Post Office in South London was unable to receive parcels today
  • Royal Mail van unable to reach Post Office due to a new cycle lane outside shop  
  • Comes after Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) scheme saw new lanes brought across the capital  

Frustrated residents have taken to social media after a Royal Mail van was unable to access their local Post Office – leaving their parcels and letters in a state of limbo.

Balham Post Office in South London told customers its posting services were ‘no longer available’ today after a Royal Mail van was unable to park outside the shop due to the newly implemented cycle lane.

It comes after London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Streetspace for London scheme saw new lanes brought in across the capital in a bid to encourage people to cycle to work by giving them more space.  

Today a sign outside the post office on Balham High Street read: ‘The posting services are not available today because of the parking issue. Royal Mail is not able to collect any collection. Sorry for any inconvenience.’  

A message outside Balham Post Office in South London told customers its posting services were ‘no longer available’

The cycle lane was implemented along Balham High Street as part of the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) scheme

The cycle lane was implemented along Balham High Street as part of the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) scheme

A Post Office spokesperson later said: ‘Balham Post Office is currently unable to accept mails and parcels. 

‘We are in close contact with Royal Mail and we hope the situation will be resolved as soon as possible and they can restart collections. In the interim alternative Post Offices are Balham Hill and Cavendish Road.’

Transport for London have since explained that there is space within the eight-metre gap to allow a van to park, whilst allowing other vehicles to pass. 

Following the scenes, residents shared their dismay at the situation which had left their packages in a state of limbo. 

On Twitter Councillor for the Nightingale ward in Wandsworth, Ian Hart, wrote: ‘So the @tfl A24 road changes now means that the post office on #balham high road can’t handle packages. What a shambles . Please unblock our roads & let us get on with our lives.’ 

While another local said: ‘Some businesses have been telling us for weeks that their suppliers won’t deliver to them- now a post office can’t get a collection. @Tfl, please listen to local concern and make changes to the A24 scheme.’

Another person commented: ‘Impossible to get over the Wandsworth Bridge, gridlocked again, gridlocked Friday. Some of us have to work, some of us have to travel throughout London. Very poor planning.’ 

And one social media user added: ‘This finally highlights what all businesses are having to silently put up with.’

Sam Monck, TfL’s Head of Healthy Streets Investment and Delivery, said: ‘Streetspace schemes such as the upgraded cycle lane in Balham are vital to help more and more Londoners walk and cycle while protected from vehicles and keeping a safe social distance.  

The post office on Balham High Street told customers it would not be able to collect any collection

The post office on Balham High Street told customers it would not be able to collect any collection

Today tape was wrapped around the post box on Balham High Street after parcels and letters were left in a state of limbo

Today tape was wrapped around the post box on Balham High Street after parcels and letters were left in a state of limbo

The new lane was implemented in a bid to encourage people to cycle to work by giving them more space

The new lane was implemented in a bid to encourage people to cycle to work by giving them more space

‘This will help support a recovery from coronavirus that doesn’t result in long-term congestion causing damage to the economy and the health of Londoners. 

‘We design our schemes with the needs of local people and businesses in mind, and Royal Mail vehicles can still access the Post Office through the eight-metre gaps in the cycle barriers. 

‘We have spoken with Royal Mail to make sure they know their vehicles can access the kerb this way.’ 

The London Streetspace scheme involves the ‘rapid construction of a strategic cycling network’, wider footways in town centres, and reduced traffic on residential streets. 

Residents took to social media to share their frustration with the newly implemented cycle lanes

Residents took to social media to share their frustration with the newly implemented cycle lanes 

Unveiling the programme earlier this year, the Mayor of London said Tfl would be widening pavements and creating temporary cycle lanes.

He said: ‘Many Londoners have rediscovered the joys of walking and cycling during lockdown and, by quickly and cheaply widening pavements, creating temporary cycle lanes and closing roads to through traffic we will enable millions more people to change the way they get around our city.’ 

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