Royal Mail has performed a U-turn to reopen a postbox in Bradford on Avon that it closed due to health and safety concerns.

The box, set into stone at Tory, had been used for more than 30 years when it was taped up without warning at the end of January.

At the time Royal Mail said the box was rarely used and that the uneven terrain around it posed a risk to their employees, despite the fact many elderly residents used the box without problems.

The box’s closure left people having to struggle up and down steep hills to reach the nearest alternative.

However, following a health and safety assessment, the postbox reopened last week and it’s now business as usual.

Tory resident Brenda Samuel said: “We’re very, very pleased indeed.

“I spoke to an external services manager in Birmingham, he was a key person and he spoke with a collection manager in Bristol who made the decision to close the box. I’ve sent thank you letters to both to let them know how much we value the service. We wanted everyone to feel good at the end of the day.

“We’re happy, we didn’t want to rub their noses in it or anything. They’ve made a sane decision, it really shouldn’t have been closed in the first place. The whole thing was obviously a huge mistake.”

Many residents in the area had contacted Royal Mail to explain that they had no problems using the steps in the area when carrying shopping, or supervising children.

Mrs Samuel added that she was grateful to Bradford on Avon Town Council for their assistance in contacting Royal Mail, and to the area’s post woman, who had been helpful throughout the issue.

A Royal Mail spokesman said: “The post box in Tory was taken out of service while health and safety access issues were looked into. The safety of our staff and also of our customers are both of the utmost importance to us.

“We are pleased to confirm the box was brought back into service from Monday, March 7. Royal Mail regrets any inconvenience caused to our local customers while we assessed the potential health and safety issue.”