VILLAGERS who have been fighting for a year to get their post box reopened showed Stroud MP Neil Carmichael just how far they have to walk to post a letter.

Mr Carmichael joined more than 20 residents for the 10 minute uphill walk from the post box in Tibbiwell Lane.

The box was welded shut over a year ago as a broken hinge meant it was unsafe to use.

In recent months the Painswick Post Office in the centre of the village was also closed due to an ongoing dispute between the Royal Mail and the former post mistress meaning that villagers who live in the Tibbiwell Lane area now have to walk up a steep hill and through the village to reach the nearest post box at the corner of New Street and Stamage’s Lane.

A spokesman for Royal Mail has said the company aims to have posting facilities within half a mile of the majority of UK addresses and according to their database there are four boxes located within a 500 metre radius of Tibbiwell Lane.

The distance quoted by the Royal Mail is measured as the crow flies and does not take in to consideration terrain or altitude, according to King’s Mill Lane resident Sue Sheperd.

“It’s not like we can walk through people’s gardens so in reality it takes us a lot longer to get to the nearest box,” said Mrs Sheperd.

“For the elderly people living in the area walking up Tibbiwell Lane which is quite steep is too much for them and most people have resorted to driving.

“We are not asking for a new post box to be put there we just want the old one to be reopened.”