Update 12 Dec: my partner met a postman puffing up to our house with a delivery yesterday, having left his van up the road. “Is it more difficult now that you have to park a way away ?” she asked (there being very little parking here, while on a bike that’s no problem). Yes he agreed it wasn’t as good as having a bike, and then added “but the worst part, it’s the Carbon Footprint !”
I live in small town by the sea (Wells Next the Sea) where until recently, Royal Mail postmen and women delivered our mail on bikes. There is hardly any traffic, distances are short and everyone knew the ‘posties’ – you can talk to someone on a bike in the street but not a van driver. Last year the UK Royal Mail announced it would be phasing out all bikes in favour of vans, and now all our posties are in vans. Bikes are gone, social contact reduced, vehicle pollution is up – NOx, hydrocarbons, CO2 – and Royal Mail sustainability is down.
It’s a bizarre, retrograde and perverse step, as evidenced by the policies of rivals like TNT, and now of Amazon, which are all switching to more bike use as it is quicker, more sustainable and cost effective. And of course it keeps the workforce and community healthier.
Amazon has dropped it’s much publicized drone delivery idea and Grist Magazine reports it is experimenting with bike couriers instead.
Postman Pat needs to rethink.