Letter: Are your local postboxes in better condition than these?

This reader says believes “it’s not just the Isle of Wight Council (through Island Roads) who are blind to litter and shabby street signage, but the Royal Mail too”.

Postboxes around the Island

We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below. This from Philippe Wines. Ed


I had always hoped the Britain would pick up some good habits from our near continental neighbours whilst we were members of the European Community.

It proved to be a forlorn hope, so far as dealing with litter and scruffy street furniture is concerned.

‘The Dirtiest Nation’?
Now that we are Brexiting, we seem destined to maintain our reputation as ‘The Dirtiest Nation’ in the western world, despite our economy being the fifth biggest in the world.

In France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Spain it is highly unusual to see scruffy litter strewn streets thanks to regular and thorough street cleaning and the care taken of street furniture.

Sheer neglect by Royal Mail
It seems that it is not just the Isle of Wight Council (through Island Roads) who are blind to litter and shabby street signage, but the Royal Mail too.

The Royal Mail must take the prize for sheer neglect of its street equipment here on the Island.

These pictures above are all within a half mile of our house. Even Royal Mail’s own boxes where the postmen and women store their loads are rusting away.


OnTheWight contacted Royal Mail about the postboxes.

Royal Mail spokesperson, Val Bodden, said:

“Royal Mail’s postboxes are a great British icon, as well as a key element of Royal Mail’s business of connecting consumers, communities and companies.

“There are over 115,300 postboxes across the country, we are very proud of them and we put a great deal of effort into maintaining and painting them.

“We repaint and refurbish them on a regular basis and we also respond directly to reports by our staff and customers about individual boxes that require urgent attention.”

Friday, 14th October, 2016 6:20pm

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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

6 Comments

  1. A few years ago, when a new house was being built, the builder had to move the only post box to build a new wall. This happened on a Friday afternoon.

    Before the builder could put the post box back in situ on Monday morning Royal Mail came along and took the box away.

    Never to be returned.

    Despite many letters, and even the Parish Councillor working his socks off, Royal Mail (head office in Glasgow)were adamant that the box would not return.

    The box was next to half a dozen houses with a lay by on either side of the busy road and it was used by many people using the road as well as the residents.

    Our nearest post box now is miles away, along a main road with no pavement or street lights so you cannot safely post a letter in the winter without taking a car.

    So, we would be very grateful for a post box in whatever state it was.

  2. The last government saw fit so sell Royal Mail at a cut price.

    So rather than being owned by the whole nation, it is now owned by a minority of wealthy investors.

    As fewer letters are sent now, it’s easier and cheaper for Royal Mail to allow boxes to fall in to disrepair and remove them than to maintain them. Painting rarely used letter boxes cuts in to profit margins.

    We the British people allowed this to happen. We elected the government that committed this act of theft from the common treasury. We didn’t fight to stop it.

    We have only ourselves to blame.

  3. Diogenese's Barrel


    15.Oct.2016 3:00pm

    Would the Royal Mail spokesperson, Ms Val Bodden kindly define the term ‘regular basis’ please.

    Does ‘regular basis’ mean, for example, each time we have a Coronation?

    We should be told. 1953 was a few years ago!

  4. I think there is some misinformation here. Royal Mail, ( or Romec their mechanical arm) are working their way across the Island painting. Some boxes that are beyond painting have been replaced by brand new boxes such as at Brook and Chale. They have just repainted Wootton Bridge boxes so will get round eventually. It is a rolling programme but they wouldn’t have had the man power even in Victorian times to paint every box every year and the costs would have been horrendous.
    But if we continue the road towards electronic mail rather than paper, there will be no need for the postboxes at all. Use them or lose them.

  5. Pete Johnstone


    21.Nov.2016 11:31am

    Thanks for raising the issue and for getting Royal Mail to comment – I have also noticed how poorly maintained a lot of the post boxes are on the Island.

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