Until recently I haven’t had much contact with the Royal Mail. My postie says hello kindly when delivering parcels to my door, and I always see employees walking around in shorts on freezing cold days, seemingly invincible to the weather no matter the time of year. I’ve seen various Royal Mail vans parked across drive ways, swerving around corners and bumping up curbs like something out of Mario Kart and always got the impression that they are pushed for time and in a hurry.
However my nonchalant opinion of the Royal Mail changed on 12/08/14 at 12:35 whilst I was driving through the sleepy village of Bishopstone in Buckinghamshire with my two children Millisent 6yrs and Gabriele 2yrs, on our way to visit my parents for lunch. The village has a small country road called North Lee Lane, for which I was driving in the direction of Haddenham which weaves through the countryside leading to the main road via the town of Aylesbury. There is a straight section of road just before a level crossing where several houses are located, and as I approached the straight a Royal Mail van was parked on my right, perched alongside a driveway delivering mail to a house. At the very far end of the road a second Royal Mail van began approaching in the opposite direction having just turned the corner.
I continued along the straight stretch of road on the left hand side, towards the parked Royal Mail van on my right and the approaching Royal Mail van also on my right at some distance. I was travelling at 30mph with my children on a dry and light day with clear visibility of all vehicles and obstacles on the road. The approaching Royal Mail van was noticeably driving at a faster speed than I on the right side of the road towards the parked Royal Mail van and I. As I came to pass the parked Royal Mail van, which was some several metres away from me on my right, the approaching Royal Mail van suddenly increased in speed from what I estimate to be 55mph to presumably 60-65mph to overtake the parked Royal Mail van, placing himself on the left hand side of the road, directly where I was driving in a head-on situation.
The Royal Mail driver was a grey/white haired mature man who I would place in his late fifties for age, hunching forward over the steering wheel and glaring directly at me as I slammed on my breaks to perform an emergency stop and sound my horn, desperately avoiding a collision by less than a meter. The Royal Mail driver had an entire stretch of straight road to see me approaching. He purposely put himself on my side of the road and made no attempt to slow down, swerve or avoid a collision. He actively increased his speed despite the hazard of the parked Royal Mail van before him, and purposely manoeuvred to my side of the road after having watched me approaching for the entirety of the road. After this horrific encounter he then proceeded to speed off down the road in the opposite direction and was gone within seconds. I had no chance to note his registration plate. I am thankful that I didn’t swerve off of the road into a ditch, and that I reacted quickly enough to avoid a head-on collision with an emergency stop procedure, as at the speed he was travelling a head-on collision would have most certainly been fatal for us all.
I was incredibly shaken, shocked and upset that this had happened, and as soon as I arrived at my parents house minutes later, I immediately telephoned the Royal Mail to report the driver for his dangerous driving and request that he be removed from the road to prevent him from being a danger to other road users, as he had sped off presumably to continue his round. I called the Royal Mail on 03457740740 to report a problem or complaint by pressing option 3 on the automated menu, and I was then put through to a member of staff called Stephanie.
Stephanie took my first and last name, including spelling, home address and postcode with my mobile number as a contact, all of which she confirmed twice. Stephanie then asked how she could help and I explained the entire incident that has just happened to which she apologised saying she was “very sorry” repeatedly and advised that she would put the complaint into her system for a manager to contact the driver concerning the code of conduct for dangerous driving. My hands and voice were shaking as I informed her that I had every intention to call the police and have him reported for dangerous driving and to be removed from the road immediately, but she assured me that the manager would ‘take action’ with the driver concerned, and I would receive a call back once the matter had been dealt with. Stephanie then provided me with a reference number and said that I could call back across the next ten working days if I hadn’t heard a response by then.
I remained patient and calm throughout the call, clearly stating what had happened and feeling reassured that the Royal Mail would now take this matter very seriously with immediate effect, so that I needn’t contact the police and nobody else would be placed in danger by this horrendous driver. I then received a letter via Royal Mail this morning 28/08/14, sixteen days after the incident, and I was horrified at what I read.
Firstly the envelope addressed to me was covered in scribbles from a member of the public, with a hand written note stating “NOT AT THIS ADDRESS, RETURN TO SENDER”. They had not only spelt and addressed my name Miss Tracy Kiss incorrectly as Ms Tracey Kiss, despite looking me up on their database, but also my home address, placing me at number 10 instead of number 17, which is a whole two streets away from where I have lived since the property was built almost five years ago.
I am grateful for the conscientious member of the public for returning the post to the Royal Mail who then marked my correct address below in capital letters, as if the resident had opened it or indeed thrown it away, they and any others, would have access to my personal details, reference number and report information and I would be none the wiser.
The letter I received from the Royal Mail is dated 20/08/14 -eight days after the report was made- from Nicola Barnham, a Customer Service Advisor with a printed text font signature. Her letter here is in italics and my thoughts are in red.
“I am very sorry to hear that one of our drivers was recently driving in an unacceptable way. The public’s safety and that of our employees (including drivers) is something Royal Mail takes very seriously – so thank you for taking the time to make us aware of this.
I am sorry that I cannot make further enquiries about this incident without a full license plate number to identify the vehicle and driver in question. How is anybody able to provide a FULL registration for a vehicle that is speeding towards them, having to perform an emergency stop and the offending driver fleeing the scene?
Please be assured that we receive very few reports of this nature as the vast majority of our massive transportation network operates safely and in accordance with our high standards of care. Any threat to the public’s safety as a result of your MASSIVE network is not acceptable, let alone deliberate dangerous driving.
We take our customers being let down seriously so thank you for taking the time to report this and allowing us the opportunity to respond.” You take your customers being let down seriously… by letting me down for a second time and failing to investigate a dangerous driving report for which I provided the time, location and description of the driver, with two members of The Royal Mail staff present.
As there is no contact telephone, email or address to respond to Nicola Barnham, I telephoned 03457740740 once again and spoke to a member of staff named Scott to inform him of my response to this letter. Scott advised that I put in writing the details of what happened so that this can be escalated. The address he provided me with is:
Royal Mail Customer Service
PO Box 740
This is my response:
Dear Nicola Barnham,
With regards to your previous correspondence dated 20/08/14, I wish to express my dissatisfaction with your actions.
You state that you take customers being let down by the Royal Mail very seriously, yet a member of your staff deliberately endangered the lives of myself and two children in a head-on road traffic incident whilst speeding on a country road. Had I not have performed an emergency stop manoeuvre whilst he was busy leaving the scene and exceeding the speed limit of a quiet country road, then I’d expect you’d be dealing with the matter of our fatalities instead of this complaint right now. Stephanie, the member of Royal Mail staff that I immediately telephoned to report this incident to, advised that a manager would begin an investigation to reprimand the driver via the code of conduct and the outcome would reach me within ten days.
Today 28/08/14, it is sixteen days after the date of the incident, I have received your response with my name, title, and home address all incorrect, after the letter having been returned to Royal Mail via a member of the public who wrote “NOT AT THIS ADDRESS, RETURN TO SENDER” on the envelope. I provided and confirmed all of my correct information and contact details twice when making this report.
Despite also providing the details of two of your Royal Mail staff present at the incident, you inform me that no further enquiries will be made without a full license plate number to identify the driver; please excuse me for not noting this down at the time as I was preoccupied avoiding a head on collision from a speeding Royal Mail van. I would therefore like to draw your attention to the enclosed printout of the road and vehicles in questions, and reiterate the following information that I have:
Date of incident: 12/08/14
Time of incident: 12:35 noon
Location of Incident: North Lee Lane, Bishopstone
Description Of Royal Mail Staff Present:
1 x Royal Mail Driver, Late 50’s, Male, White/Grey Hair, Hunched Over Steering Wheel, Exceeding Speed Limit And Driving On The Wrong Side Of The Road To Overtake A Parked Royal Mail Van
1 x Royal Mail Driver Parked Outside North Lee Lane Property, Male, On Foot Delivering Mail
I require your response to the following questions:
-What are your actions for Royal Mail staff exceeding the public speed limit?
-What are your actions for Royal Mail staff driving dangerously on the public highway?
-Which Royal Mail staff members were present on North Lee Lane on August 12th 2014 at 12:35?
-Which Royal Mail delivery drivers were working on August 12th 2014 in and around Bishopstone?
-Which Royal Mail staff fit the physical and logistical description of the offending party stated?
Nicola, I too take safety seriously, particularly as a single parent with both of my young children present in the vehicle and a dangerous driver putting our lives at risk. The fact that you have failed to deal with this investigation at all, and for such a period of time as has already passed; leaving this driver on the road to continue such fatal behaviour is beyond comprehension, grossly unacceptable and negligent on behalf of the Royal Mail.
I request that you look over these details more thoroughly, locate and remove the member of staff responsible in accordance with the Road Traffic Act 1988 Part I Principal Road Safety Provisions under the offence of Dangerous Driving, and prevent this from happening again with far greater consequences.
As a result of your preliminary response I have now reported this matter to Thames Valley Police and your drivers are being monitored by the traffic department in the hope of protecting the many elderly, families and young drivers on the road who may not be so lucky to avoid a collision with one of your drivers. I am more than aware of my rights and expect a full explanation and conclusion as to the Royal Mail enquiry on this incident at your earliest convenience.
I posted this to the Royal Mail this afternoon and will await their response, keeping my blog updated with everything that happens from here on. I feel utterly disgusted in the drivers behaviour and resultant negligent actions of the Royal Mail who failed to handle this complaint. The public have a right to use every road safely, for wildlife to cross, children and families to walk and cyclists to travel. If the Royal Mail are setting impossible timings and distances for their staff to achieve then their margins should be increased, not their miles per hour. How long will this dangerous driver remain on the road and whose innocent blood will be on the hands of the Royal Mail if they fail to take action. I am thankful to have acted quickly enough to avoid the collision with my two children, but others may not be as fortunate.
Just incase the Royal Mail lose my complaint letter to their PO Box address, I have tweeted this blog to the Royal Mail on Twitter. Let’s hope that they are able to read this and act on the dangerous actions of their employees, as after all, if me and my entire family were dead now a “we’re very sorry but we can’t do anything about this” letter from the Royal Mail would do far less to help the situation than we can as the public, enforcing local speed limits and reporting dangerous driving. Regardless of age, sex or nationality, the law is the law and our roads must be kept safe by penalising those drivers who put others lives at risk.
I would like you to consider what value you put on a life, the life of a mother and her two children? What price could replace your parents? A sibling? Partner or best friend? What could ever fill the gap, that desperate ache in your heart and endless mourning for a life taken so tragically, too soon and totally avoidable. It makes me utterly sick to my stomach to think how differently this could have all been if fight or flight at the incident had caused me to freeze and not act as I did.
Something has to change, a world can not revolve around meeting targets at the expense of lives. I was raised with the mantra of “better late than never” and if my post arrives four minutes after expected rather than burying my loved ones or losing my own life, then that’s a delay I am willing to forgive. What could be more urgent or important than preserving life?
I have received this response via my Twitter inbox from the Royal Mail, which has surprisingly proved a far more effective form of communication than using their postal service. I am only seeking justice and looking to keep my family and others safe from this dangerous driver who is still working for the Royal Mail. As members of the public we are governed by the highway code, to drive within the speed limit, alcohol and drug consumption and with due care and attention. Royal Mail have a duty to police their employees and adhere to the law because it is their name and reputation on the face of each and every driver and their actions.
After requesting a name and contact details for the member of staff who will be handling my case, the Royal Mail have provided this as their response:
I have now filed my complaint with the Escalated Customer Resolution Team. Let’s hope that something will now be done about this.
UPDATE: 01/09/14 Email Response From The Escalated Customer Resolution Team
This morning I received this email regarding my escalated complaint:
Just incase the screenshot is difficult to read I have also included the email below in italics. My thoughts are again in red.
Dear Miss Kiss, thank you for your recent email dated 29th August and I am very sorry to learn of the incident which occurred on the 12th August in Bishopstone. Accordingly, I do appreciate the time you have taken to bring this matter to my attention. It has certainly been an effort. There is likely very little in the way of an apology I may be able to offer you in the first instance due to the overtly dangerous driving you experienced via a Royal Mail driver, the fact that your children were also in the car with you and the incorrectly named and addressed response you received which seems unable to assist with an investigation. A very reasonable and good start.
Miss Kiss, there is simply no excuse for what has happened and I would like to assure you that I will be contacting the Delivery Office Manager and Collection Manager to ensure the matter is fully investigated. This is what I was told would happen when I made the phone report. Whilst I am relieved to read that you and your children are without injury; as a parent myself, I can wholly appreciate the ‘what if’ scenario which will undoubtedly be repeating over and over again. This matter not only presents questions of our reporting procedures for incidents of this nature, with both your name and address being recorded incorrectly, but also the way in which we have responded to you as a customer. As an aside from the incident, this is unacceptable. Every business can progress and benefit from customer feedback, I’m not here to be a busybody, I simply want to keep my family and other motorists safe. Lives needn’t be at risk because of poor practise. I hope that this event will contribute to the need to make changes in the Royal Mail.
I note from the case that a manager has attempted to visit you, yet due to the error in recording your address correctly, this will likely mean he or she has gone to the wrong address. This is the first I have heard of it, oh dear what a mess. We are unable to use emoticons via our email conversations; yet the ‘eye-rolling’ icon would seem somewhat appropriate at this point. I am going to need a few days to look into the incident to be in a position to come back to you with a considered response. I will end this initial response with an apology; however, I would like you to hold on to it until I come back to you. I shall correspond with you again shortly. I appreciate the sentiment and hope that a full investigation will now begin.
Escalated Customer Resolutions Team
When I made the telephone report to the Royal Mail once arriving at my parents, I recorded the conversation between myself and the report handler and have placed it into a video. The reason I did this is firstly because I didn’t have a pen and paper to hand to take down reference codes and staff names, and secondly because I was shaken up and wanted to keep an accurate account of the dates and times and details fresh from the incident that I may have forgot to mention or over looked at a later time, from physical descriptions to times etc. every detail counts. This conversation also serves to show that I gave my personal information clearly yet the complaints response was sent to the address of ’10’ instead of ’17’ on my street. The video is a quick and convenient way of summarising my case and progress so far whilst being more suitable to share online.
UPDATE: 04/09/14 A House Visit From Mr Chris Kemp & An Escalated Customer Resolutions Team Response
Today I received a telephone call from Chris Kemp, office manager for the Royal Mail, asking if he could come to my house to talk to me about the progress of my case, which I was more than happy to do. He arrived within an hour and was very polite and down to earth. It was clear that he cares about his job, is in charge of many staff in the local area and takes road safety seriously as he too is a parent who has been put at risk because of other drivers and knows the fear of being in an accident with children involved. He advised that a member of Royal Mail staff was recently dismissed for not driving to the standards required after a member of the public took a photograph of the full registration and reported the incident. Each Royal Mail van has to be signed for at the start of each round by the driver who will be using it for their shift. In busier areas two postmen share a van so that they can park and deliver to large estates, and quieter areas that are more spread out are assigned to one postman and a van. All postmen must be able to drive.
He also informed me that 25 vans possibly use North Lee Lane, where the incident happened, to approach the two postal depots in Aylesbury at the Triangle Business park and town centre, but this is in the opposite direction of which the dangerous driver of the Royal Mail van was travelling. Generally the postmen delivering to the surrounding areas of aylesbury drive through the village of Bishopstone and divide off at the Marsh crossing where the road splits which makes tracking the exact driver fairly difficult. The postman who was in the parked Royal Mail van and delivering to a house on his route is currently on holiday and when he was telephoned to ask what he saw he said he couldn’t remember the incident from 23 days ago now. Chris advised that dangerous driving within the Royal Mail is taken as a serious offence for which nobody wants to come forward at risk of losing their job, which I can understand, I’m human too and I know that we all make mistakes and have the odd accident, but equally I don’t endanger others or deliberately drive without due care and attention. I can’t rest knowing that my parents use that road just as often as my children and I, and God forbid with the driver still being out there somewhere, if he were to do the same to somebody else and the consequences be fatal it would be a tragic injustice that could have been avoided. An accident is an accident, but an unrealistic perception of driving ability has terrifying consequences. As it is unusual for a driver to drive in that direction away from the office, aside from the parked driver who was servicing the route, it now makes me question wether the speeding driver was using the van quickly for a personal errand. Could he have been going to lunch somewhere as it was just after midday, popping to the shops, picking up a present, stopping off at home or running another personal errand of some sort? What would cause somebody to rush off like that, as if he was servicing his round he would not have been heading in that direction at such haste. Should the potential misuse of company vehicles be to blame here, and is the way in which this is monitored by the driver signing a time sheet before and after using the vehicle effective?
Chris also explained that the description of the white haired driver leaning over the steering wheel could fit many members of staff as the drivers are either in their young twenties or approaching retirement with few ages in between. The Royal Mail doesn’t keep a photo record of staff, but each postman has an ID card with their face and personal information on which cant be shown to the public for security reasons. I asked if I might have access to just the photos of the drivers in the hope of being able to identify the dangerous driver before too much time passes, but due to red tape this is not possible. I believe the dangerous drivers perception of road safety is incredibly flawed to deliberately risk lives in the way that he did, and the drivers are at the forefront of the Royal Mail service because the public perception and interaction with them governs the entire companies reputation. Chris mentioned that it can be very frustrating for drivers who often become stuck in traffic and at red lights, as the regular motorist finds it an inconvenience, but driving for employment is far worse. In my opinion it is still better to arrive alive at the expense of a few extra minutes and if you can’t adhere to the conduct of the road then you’re in the wrong occupation.
I was reassured to hear that next Tuesday Chris will be holding a work time learning session for the Royal Mail staff where he will be briefing them all on the general driving standards and what is expected. If a driver were to lose their license through speeding they also lose their job and livelihood which is very undesirable. Any staff involved in an accident are sent on an independent driving course with the RAC to be assessed as high or low risk before they are able to return to their route again, so I am aware that the Royal Mail takes appropriate action under these circumstance, but it seems that my dangerous driver is burying his head in the sand and refusing to come clean through fear of losing his employment. I don’t want to have anybody fired or to negatively affect their employment or livelihood, I just want to know that the deliberate and horrific situation that this man put myself and children in will not happen again to us or any other road user. I feel for Chris having to find this driver as it is clearly going to be challenging to prove who this was. But he has assured me that he will continue to seek out the driver and have necessary action taken, with the entire team being briefed and prepped in the meantime on road safety.
Although this driver is still a part of the Royal Mail, perhaps still driving the same road and questionably manoeuvring in the same manner; I hope that justice will prevail and the Royal Mail may use this as an opportunity to educate their staff in the consequences of road safety, not just in the local area but nationwide. Prevention is undoubtedly better than cure in every circumstance, accidents may not be avoided, but deliberate behaviour can and must. I see three options for addressing deliberate speeding, the first being to allow an adequate shift time for the workload involved of each postman as an individual, the second being to monitor company vehicle misuse more effectively to prevent any driver from quickly whisking off on a round for non-work related purposes, and the third being to impose more informative training on road safety and stricter disciplinary action for those who drive without due care and attention and haven’t yet being involved in an accident. A driver shouldn’t have to injure or kill somebody first on the road before being retrained, they should be competent enough in their role at all times for it not to happen in the first place.
My opinion of the Royal Mail is like any business they want the best for their staff and customers, but sometimes things slip through the net and need to be addressed. How the Royal Mail handled my complaint from the very beginning was neglectful and unforgiving, with multiple members of staff failing to do their jobs properly. Now I have met a higher member of staff personally I sympathise with Mr Kemp’s position and hope that he will indeed act on what he has told me. Sometimes it takes such an incident as this to happen to set off the alarm bells of all that is failing, to help identify, address and make a service even better and safer than before. I hope that everybody involved can learn from this.
This afternoon I received an email from the Escalated Customer Resolutions Team which I have screen shotted and placed in italics below to make it easier to see. My thoughts are again in red.
Dear Miss Kiss
Thank you for your patience whilst I have liaised with Mr Chris Kemp who is the Delivery Office Manager for your location. Chris has advised me this morning that he has personally visited you to speak face to face regarding the incident. It is my understanding that Chris explained his disappointment with the careless driving and that all drivers at the Aylesbury Vale Delivery Office will have Royal Mail’s careful driving policy reinforced in their next team meeting on Tuesday. All staff members will be asked to sign to confirm that they understand and agree to drive respectfully and within the law. I am pleased that this is taking place.
Chris also explained to me that a colleague had recently seen their employment terminated for a similar incident; so I am hopeful that you can see we take matters of dangerous driving very seriously and will always take appropriate action upon investigation. I am relieved that dangerous driving is taken seriously by the Royal Mail, however in my case this has served to cause the dangerous driver to keep quiet and not reveal himself through fear of losing his job, which means that he may not receive the necessary retraining that is needed if he is never identified. Regrettably, we have been unsuccessful in identifying the driver who sped oncoming into your lane at this time; this does not however mean that enquiries will cease. Good! Should the individual be identified then I will of course correspond will you again to notify you of this. As a company we are bound by confidentially not to release information pertaining to actions against an employee and, as such, I may only be in a position to confirm certain aspects. To know that the dangerous driver has been retrained would be reassurance enough.
In addition to the above incident, your customer experience as a whole has been unsatisfactory from your first contact; including your name and address information being incorrectly recorded against the complaint. All the aspects of your contact have been reviewed and I can assure you that relevant feedback has been issued to each department to ensure a similar situation does not occur. I am pleased that this inconvenience may now improve staff vigilance. Whilst I am approaching the end of my email, please be assured that this does not mean the matter is closed. Chris will be ensuring all driving staff are refreshed on driving expectations, feedback will be passed to our front line team in respect of the data capture and I can assure you that, when the driver is identified, appropriate action will be taken. I very much hope so.
There are two other aspects of this matter that I have yet to address, and those are Millisent and Gabriele. I can envisage the situation was very upsetting for both of them as well and I would like you also to pass on my own apologies to them. And whilst I acknowledge this has never been about compensation or redress; I am going to send you a cheque for £20.00 which I hope you will spend on Millisent and Gabriele. Perhaps this could a meal out or maybe just to make a day slightly more special to compensate for the day which was spoilt by the thoughtless driving of a colleague. It would never be my intention to seek compensation for this incident, simply reassurance that it has been dealt with appropriately and future incident avoided for the sake of my family and general road users. This is a kind gesture and I will use this in a fitting way to educate the children in road safety. I would ask that you correspond with me further if there are any aspects of which you remain unhappy with or wish to discuss further. I am more than happy to call you should you wish me to do so; however, I will now ask that you accept my apology I requested you hold onto from my previous email on the understanding that your complaint has ensured further instances of poor driving will not occur.
I would also like to take this opportunity to inform you that further details of our complaints handling process can be found on our website at http://www.royalmail.com/personal/help-and-support/how-do-I-make-a-complaint which includes details of the Post Review Panel who will review your complaint should you remain dissatisfied.
Escalated Customer Resolutions Team
UPDATE: 06/09/14 Royal Mail Compensation Cheque
This morning I received a letter from the Royal Mail with a cheque for £20.00 for my children Millisent and Gabriele by way of compensation. This is something the Royal Mail suggested of their own accord and I will be using it to educate my children on the importance of road safety.
As I mentioned before, I was never looking to benefit from this situation, and I made my report against a Royal Mail driver for endangering my family in the hope that the Royal Mail would reprimand him for his behaviour and ensure that no other motorist should find themselves in the same situation as I. Despite the Royal Mail’s handling of my initial report being a complete mess, after escalating my complaint I am pleased with the follow up from management, and reassured that all drivers are being reminded of the code of conduct because of this.
In the meantime I still hope that the driver will be found, as justice for my family will be receiving an apology letter from the driver who put us in such danger, knowing that he will have to pass an independent driving test with the RAC before being allowed back on the road again as a member of the Royal Mail. It is disappointing that he has not come forward to acknowledge what he put us through, but I hope that a moral conscience and common sense will prevail.
I have been looking through road safety toys for my children online and came across this giant town jigsaw which I think is perfect for educating them on the importance of the green cross code. My son Gabriele loves to play with toy cars and do puzzles, so he’ll have great fun whizzing them around this track, whilst Millie is more able to see the dangers and obstacles of a town setting and indicate the safest areas for a pedestrian. The pennies left over from the cheque will be used to take the children for an ice cream or comic at our local newsagents.
UPDATE: 09/09/14 Follow Up Email From The Royal Mail
This afternoon I received an email from the Royal Mail Escalated Complaints Team informing me that Chris, who had previously visited me at my house, had now carried out the Driving Standards re-training with all driving staff in the Delivery Office which is reassuring to know.
However the dangerous driver is still evading identification and we can only hope that he has a conscience to come forward, as for us to feel completely at ease with what has happened it is paramount to know that the dangerous driver has been retested and assessed to a safe enough standard to be using the road. The Royal Mail are clearly making attempts to rectify the situation, but it would be an incredible injustice if this person were to slip through the net and repeat his behaviour at a later date with possibly fatal consequences. I drove the same route today to visit my parents with just my son in the car and my hair stood on end the entire time knowing that he was still out there.
UPDATE: 10/09/14 The Children’s Jigsaw Has Arrived
The children’s road safety jigsaw puzzle arrived when we walked home from school this afternoon and after a spot of dinner we sat at the kitchen table and pieced it together. They loved building the jigsaw, slotting the cars and people together and driving them about to the shops and petrol station in a tiny town. This is a great way to show the little ones the dangers of the road and what they as pedestrians should look out for.
We talked about the cars driving on the left hand side of the road, to look left and right for traffic before crossing to the other side, and how ‘give way’ and ‘one way’ streets cause cars to stop, drive slower or change direction. The children loved following the arrows, driving the cars around and keeping the people and cyclists safe. We would like to thank the Royal Mail for their kind compensation which we have put to good use.
What are your views on the Royal Mail? Have you ever had an incident with a driver? Seen antisocial parking or manoeuvring? Or had a complaint handled inadequately? Please leave your thoughts, feelings and feedback below and remember to check back soon for my progress.
27 CommentsLeave a comment
You have such a great way of wording things,totally agree that if they don’t find this maniac he is free to do this again and the outcome could be tragic,come on Post Office,do the right thing!
Let’s hope that swift action is taken to prevent any further instances.
There is absolutely no excuse for the idiotic actions of this numpty and let’s hope that he is found out and dealt with accordingly.
I am a postman in rural Essex, I abide by all speed limits, rules of the road, highway code etc. and I hope and believe that the vast majority of my colleagues do the same. I am not perfect, like any human being I will make mistakes but I will never put others at risk because I am in a hurry – the consequences are too appalling to contemplate.
Unfortunately (as with any organisation/company) there is always a small minority that give us a bad name, whether it be bad driving, theft, rudeness, lack of care or sense of duty to the community that they work for. Please don’t tar all of us with the same brush, the vast majority of us enjoy our work, and engaging with our customers.
I am glad that you are taking this issue seriously, and having seen your crusade against parking companies, I am confident that you will get the result that you are looking to achieve.
Be aware though that Royal Mail is incredibly ‘top-heavy’ with management levels and you could spend a long time waiting for some form of resolution. Also be aware that despite what senior management say, the majority of Royal Mail managers are scared stiff of upsetting the CWU (Communication Workers Union) and will do anything they can to avoid confrontation and disciplining ‘idiots’.
Ignore the usual corporate platitudes regarding customer service, if it is anything like the numerous ‘rules and regulations’ that we are supposed to follow, management will just pay lip service.
If I asked a manager to accompany me on my round they would refuse, because if they did they would have to insist on me fastening my seat belt, locking the vehicle every time I get out of it, work from the back of my van rather that carry mail and parcels in the cab, and knocking on neighbour’s doors to sign for parcels if somebody is not in. If we all followed these regulations the Royal Mail would be swamped with overtime dockets and so it is easier for them to ‘overlook’ our regular practices.
FYI all vehicles should have a log book as to when and where it was operating with the drivers name and details – it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to find out who the pillock was who was driving this vehicle, even if you don’t have the full reg details your description of the driver and the location will be more than enough information for a local manager to identify the culprit
Good luck with finding some form of resolution to your complaint
Thank you your contribution is priceless.
Hi Tracy scanned through your post quickly, just sprung to mind that if there was a speeding fine to hand out they would surely find the culprit ASAP! sorry if you mentioned that in your post, glad you and your girls were only badly shaken up and no that no serious injuries dare say being scared out of your senses was bad enough though!
Thank you Ben, it is sad when so many companies are more vigilant on making money rather than following guidelines. Thankfully we are ok, a little shaken but hoping that we may find this driver and feel safe in the knowledge that he will never do this to anybody else.
I found this as I was searching for how to complain – today nearly knocked off my bike by a Royal Mail driver cutting left across me at an advance stop notice.
I was also confronted with one of Royal Mail’s maniac van drivers.
My incident occurred in West London, Ealing W5, along the Popes Lane yesterday at around 17:15 18/12/14.
I was cycling eastbound and saw a Royal Mail van pull out from the parked position pointing eastbound also, on the right hand side of the road.
The driver of this Royal Mail van then attempted to do a u-turn in the road to head back westbound but the turning circle of his vehicle was insufficient to keep his vehicle on his side of the road and instead, he landed up literally, in my cycle lane heading straight at me!
Abruptly and infuriatingly sounding his horn in so doing as if he had a god given right!
he narrowly missed me because I have like you Tracy, very fast reflexes and brought my cycle to a virtual halt however, anyone else might had not been so lucky.
Multi-drop van driving is a heavily stressful job and drivers are given targets that they must meet otherwise they are given the short shrift treatment and relieved from their post. I know this because I too, was a multi-drop driver.
I don’t know why companies pressurise their staff by making them put targets before lives but 80 to 100 drops a day is not unusual for any Royal Mail or any other multi-drop business.
I’m just so thankful my guardian angels saved me yesterday.
Thank you for posting your story but it makes me sad to think that what Royal Mail first claimed as a very rare occurrence actually starts to sound like it happens more often then they believe. I just had a run in with an arrogant Royal Mail driver whilst driving on Bourne Road in Colchester. Anyone who frequently drives this road knows that it is a double parking nightmare at the best of times so you have to drive slowly anyway but most people who drive it know where the natural gaps in the road are and most people are generally thoughtful and considerate. But tonight at 5:55pm as I was driving down this road a Royal Mail van decided he had more right to go first (even though I was already in the road) and came straight for me until we were nose to nose where he then sat and refused to reverse back 1 car length to a gap in the road and forcing me to reverse 6 car lengths uphill under I could find a gap!! I was absolutely livid that not only had he blocked my way but had then sat and waited for me to go back even though he had a much smaller distance to travel than I did, I also had my daughter in the car with me who was looking behind me saying mum there isn’t a gap behind you but given that this ride arrogant driver was refusing to move I had no choice but what really boiled my blood was that when if finally stopped as the Royal Mail driver passed me he mockingly clapped me like that’s what I should have done all along!!! I am absolutely fuming and wish to complain to Royal Mail but having read your story I don’t know if it is worthwhile now.
I’m very sorry to hear this, it seems to be common place with delivery drivers these days, which is why it’s of the utmost importance to ensure that this type of behaviour is no longer tolerated by companies. It is the ignorance, arrogance and downright recklessness of these drivers who will cause others to innocently lose their lives for nothing more than a time slot or delayed lunch break. We must be vigilant together and help them to see the error of their ways and implement change before it is too late.
Interestingly, I have just called the Royal Mail complaints number to report dangerous driving by a van driver whose number plate I did manage to write down, after pulling off the road. I provided detailed information on the time (4:35 p.m., today) location (G1 area) and route (St. Mungo Ave., turning onto Lister St., then right onto Baird St.), and various aspects of dangerous driving (including tailgating in a school area, and then overtaking at high speed before cutting right across me as I approached stationary traffic). They did not take any contact details from me, so I have to hope this will be dealt with via the appropriate delivery depot, rather than being thrown in the bin. To name and shame, the Royal Mail vehicle number was LA08 EFS.
How horrific. I would urge you to call them back and ask for a member of management to return your call and investigate the driver. I member of staff I dealt with was very helpful and implemented change to the drivers, this type of dangerous behaviour must be taken off of our roads. Life is too precious to be lost for the sake of Such actions.
Hi all Just had an encounter with a royal mail juggernaut on the M25 as you join the M25 from M4 clockwise you have two lanes of traffic one to joins the multi carriageway the other the single lane that runs parallel alongside. He decided to create a third lane in the middle forcing cars in both lanes to take avoiding action or be wiped out. A fire engine passed on the hard shoulder as i was being forced off the road by this maniac which we all clearly saw. When i had to pull onto the hard shoulder to avoid this aggressive Royal Mail driver i blocked a Fire officer trying to reach the accident. My wife called the Royal mail at the time also the Police we gave the registration details lets see if any thing happens, this man will kill with his angry aggressive driving.
That sounds absolutely horrific I’m sorry you had to experience that and it’s upsetting to have that this dangerous behaviour continues to happen. Please keep me updated on how this progresses with the police, what a lucky escape you all had.
saw your blog when looking for how to complain about another PO driver who parked on the pavement next to a double yellow line I was on, forcing me off it – I’ve got his registration so no excuses this tme I hope!!
For someone who is both intelligent and tenacious I find it hard to believe that you think it is easy to do anything without the registration number of the vehicle.
I also do question you estimation of speed. Even traffic police use calibrated equipment to ensure a safe conviction.
I do not doubt the incident occurred or that it was dangerous or even reckless driving. I just think you need to look at it and ask if the evidence would stack up in court. You can’t expect someone to be disciplined if you can’t prove it was them
Thank you for your comment Andrew, although I wasn’t expecting such a dangerous situation to be sprung on me with my family in the car, my main priority was to avoid collision and not take registration details at a split seconds notice. My estimation of speed is based on the fact that I was travelling at the speed limit through the village, he was approaching more quickly and I and decided to increase his speed to overtake the parked van, as the village is a 30mph zone I know that he was already breaking this limit before overtaking, and to overtake so quickly he would have put his foot flat to the floor. I do not have the luxury of a speed calibrated police gun built into my dashboard, but thankfully common sense prevails. I also presumed that not many Royal Mail drivers that day would have almost ran a mother and children off of the road at high speed at that exact time going in that direction through the village and fitting the physical description that I provided. Unfortunately cowardice exists. Please tell me you’d feel otherwise if God forbid your family were killed in the same situation.
my complaint is about one of your drivers on Monday evening the 5th of December at 4.30 pm we were traveling home on the A494 towards the A55. This driver suddenly came into my lane without any indication where i had to break hard to avoid him hitting us registration off the van is PJ66 BSU
Hello Marilyn, I’m sorry to hear what another driver has done to you and your family, have your forwarded your complain to the Royal Mail and if so what was their response?
Yesterday I was nearly run over by Royal Mail van while crossing a side road in a very busy shopping precinct in Leeds, who thought it best to make a 50 year old man speed up rather than alter his rampant speed or distract his attention from the conversation he was having with his passenger.
The home of my childhood was on a dual carriageway so I learned very early in life the importance of judging the speed and distance of approaching vehicles. This acquired skill however in being invalidated by the actions of many drivers on the road, who as I see it have evolved road rage to a new level where everyone is in the line of fire and possibly view other drivers as allies in the fight now.
I’m not a driver myself despite my father having a large collection of high performance classic sports cars who was once taught by Jackie Stewart to handle high speeds. Many memories of me and my siblings sitting in a high performance Mercedes tuned to a whole new level requiring sand bags in the boot to stabilise, so my father could race BMW’s (the Police always lost and enjoyed added points on his license later on). It was always a pleasure to report to my father that ‘he’s given up dad, we win’, I now have a level of common sense than exceeds my father’s.
I have recently received an apology from both Moya Green and Nicola Barnham after emailing Moya directly, as life or death complaints should always be addressed to a CEO.
The eventual outcome was predictable prior to composing my message to Moya, but felt it important to add another complaint anyway to further visualise the problem to upper management.
It is a sad state of affairs when human beings see profit & targets met as being more important than the standards of safety to which members of their own families should expect to enjoy, as recklessness and ineptitude does not discriminate.
It’s on 8.11.2017 the driver argue with me about the parcel and drive fast reg no is KT 64 LOL.
A woman Royal Mail driver drove extremely close to me whilst on a business park and ran after me so I could sign something for the business. I declined and said that she nearly ran me over. To which she just said, oh i saw you, don’t worry. Stupid. It’s so incredibly stupid.
The problems with Royal mail seem to continue. Last Wednesday in Bristol I arrived at queue of traffic to see a Royal Mail van that had just left a post box had had quite a bad crash. I think someone was injured. I turned round as there were people on hand to help. In this case I don’t know what happened so cannot attribute any blame.
However, today, two days later, and only 1/2 mile from here a I saw another Royal Mail van, driver on his mobile. He did pull in to continue his call but should not have answered it while driving. I parked so I could write down his number. Then I saw him pull out in front of another vehicle causing it to brake hard and swerve (I did not see if he was still on his mobile). Does anyone know the most effective way to report this to get some action?
I’ve reported a Tesco driver for dangerous driving (overtaking a vehicle stopped at a red light, mounting the kerb and almost knocking me flat!)… obviously it all happened so quickly that I didn’t get the reg number.
Spoke to a lady in a Tescos call centre who was extremely empathetic and apologetic; she took what limited details I had and promised to investigate.
A few days later she called back to tell me they had traced the driver based on the time and location, confirmed that he’d been driving recklessly and that whislt they couldnt go in to detail action would be taken.
Either she was lying to me (which would be quite elaborate given the follow up call a few days later) or it is perfectly possible to trace a fleet vehicle given a time and location. I’m sure it’s the latter; which the proliferation if GPS and modern fleet management systems I’m sure this is fairly trivial?
No, I suspect you have had the misfortune to deal with yet another of the lazy, arrogant malcontents that seem to be rather prolific in the Royal Mail workforce, both on the road and in their Delivery Offices.
That’s both reassuring and disheartening to hear. I believe every member of staff should be traced and own up to poor standards of service and dangerous behaviour but it seems cover-ups still happen. I’m glad that your case was resolved, there is no excuse for ever putting people in danger.
I’ve just got here after a Google search on how to report be Royal Mail driving, having just witnessed a Royal Mail van overtaking several cars (including me) stopped at a red light, and going straight through the red light about 5 seconds after it changed to red. This on a busy London street at rush hour with pedestrians and cyclists everywhere. Evidently some Royal Mail drivers think they are above the law and if the Royal Mail wants to take this seriously then more training and perhaps less targeting is required.
I’m sorry to hear what happened to you, it seems to remain an ongoing problem.