A STAFF shortage at the Royal Mail has left people without post for weeks, according to residents.
People in Gosport say that they have been left isolated, with deliveries failing to come through.
They say doctors’ appointments have been missed and bills have not been paid on time.
For the past few weeks, many residents haven’t seen any post coming through their door.
Gail Mays from Brockhurst Road said elderly and disabled residents were being told to go to the sorting office.
She said: ‘This has been going on for ages.
‘It is absolutely ridiculous – how can these elderly people be expected to head down to the sorting office, especially when they don’t even know if they have any post or not?
‘We have had one postman come down on a Saturday and he said he had volunteered to come in because of the staff shortage.
‘It just can’t go on like this.’
Cliff Hill lives in Clifton Street. He said that friends in his flat had missed vital postal deliveries.
He said: ‘The postal service in Gosport is an absolute joke.
‘This has been going on for weeks on end, and it has to stop.
‘There have been times where we haven’t seen a postman in the street for nearly two weeks.
‘Although I personally haven’t missed any important post, a friend of mine has missed a doctor’s appointment – with the letter coming two days after the appointment was meant to take place.
‘This puts them at the back of the queue for appointments, through no fault of his own.’
Mr Hill blamed the privatisation of the Royal Mail for the shortcomings.
He said: ‘Years ago, you would have a queue of people lining up the work for the postal service.
‘I fear those days are long gone now.’
Royal Mail said that it was aware of the issues and was hiring more staff to combat them.
Spokeswoman Sally Hopkins said: ‘We would like to apologise to any customers in Gosport who may have been experiencing some issues with their mail deliveries recently.
‘This has been due to temporary staff shortages in the office.
‘Contingency plans are being put in place and Royal Mail is recruiting new staff to resolve the matter as quickly as we possibly can.
‘We are committed to delivering a high quality of service to our customers in Gosport and our focus is to restore our service to the high standards our customers would normally receive.’
For any specific enquiries, Royal Mail customers can call 03457 740740.