A petition calling for a much loved postman to remain on his current round in Horsham has collected 116 signatures.
However, last week, despite huge public outcry, Royal Mail confirmed that Mark Griffin is set to leave his round at the Old Millmeads estate from next week, as part of a reorganisation of delivery routes at Horsham Post Office.
Mr Griffin’s customers are desperate to keep their postman, who has been delivering their post for the last 12 years.
Shirley Tomblin, 79, started the petition, but s said she was turned away from the Post Office when she tried to present it on Monday (September 2).
She said: “I got 116 signatures which is excellent. Some people are away but I know they would have signed it as well, but I wasn’t surprised because I know how good he is - he is a fantastic employee.
“A neighbour told me that one lady locked herself out of her house, and Mark managed to get through the window for her, which I think is above and beyond the call of duty.
“A lot of us living alone feel very safe because we know he looks after us. If he sees anything unusual he tells us.
“They didn’t have the courtesy to answer one letter or give me a few minutes, and that isn’t going to foster good relations with the public. What can you do?”
Martin Bruton, 59, who is the street co-ordinator of the Residents and Neighbourhood Watch Scheme for the road, said he plans to write a letter to Moya Greene, the chief executive of Royal Mail.
He said: “Why can’t they just give us a small explanation of why they have to move our postman and replace him with another? This is open to public consultation but it appears that they don’t want to enter into any discussion on it.
“It seems that they do not take into consideration the needs of their customers or the morale of their staff.”
Mr Bruton and others living at Old Millmeads have sent a number of letters to Horsham Post Office in a bid to retain the services of Mr Griffin - the Post Office received ten letters of protest on one day alone.
However, Mr Bruton claims that ‘our pleas have so far fallen on deaf ears’ - which is why he is now writing to Ms Greene.
He added: “I am writing to the chief executive of Royal Mail - for what it’s worth.
“I know they say all their staff are excellent but our experience when Mark was away has not been excellent.”
Mr Bruton praised Mr Griffin’s attitude, approachability, reliability, willingness to talk to people and helpful nature.
The County Times first reported on Thursday, August 15 that locals were rallying in a bid to prevent the loss of their beloved postman.
This was followed by an appearance on BBC Sussex radio by Mr Bruton, where he discussed the issue with presenter Neil Pringle.
When approached for comment, the Post Office reiterated the statement printed in the County Times on August 15.
It read: “It is always gratifying when our customers recognise the hard work of their postman or woman.
“As part of the changes we introduced last month to Royal Mail services in the Horsham area some customers may notice that a different postman or woman will deliver their mail.
“However, we can assure customers that all our staff are trained to the same high standards and quality of service will be maintained.”