A DECISION to ban postmen from using bicycles on their rounds has been welcomed by Wigan’s mail workers.
The move has been made in light of health and safety fears that the increasing weight of delivery bags and road accidents involving posties on bikes was causing avoidable problems.
And Wigan’s union branch secretary, Paul Fenney, says the change will further reduce health problems suffered by postmen and women for years.
He said: “Not only will the banning of bikes mean that the postmen and women are safer in their jobs but it will also mean that the post is more secure.
“Since the delivery method revision all workers have had a vehicle in which to carry the post and a trolley to use while on their rounds. In the past many have suffered with a bad back for example and this move will just us one step closer to securing the health of our workers, which I can only see to be a good thing.”
In recent times £74m has been invested on improving delivery equipment as historically many posties suffered work related injuries, which were a hazard of carrying the heavy post bags.
But bags have got heavier since the rise in internet shopping, which has seen them have to deliver weighty parcels. Bosses also decided that taking their bikes off the roads would also cut road accidents involving cycling postmen.
Workers in the borough have been off their bikes for quite some time but the remaining four area in which posties still use bikes will follow suit within 12 month.
Royal Mail spokeswoman, Morag Turnbull, said the service has invested £74m in new delivery equipment in a bid for the region to be able to respond to a changing mailbag.
She added: “As we deliver fewer letters but more packets and parcels than we did in the past, we need to remove bicycles from our operations. They are being replaced with vans and trolleys that enable us to take the weight off staff’s backs and therefore deliver mail more securely and safely. In addition, this move, as supported by the union, will help reduce cycling accidents involving our staff.”