ROYAL Mail is refusing to deliver post to homes along a street in a borough village because it is considered "too dangerous".

Residents living along Crown Lane in Old Basing were informed that Royal Mail has temporarily suspended deliveries because roadworks being carried out at Black Dam Roundabout are resulting in a "heavy increase in traffic along this road".

As reported in The Gazette, the major roadworks to the roundabout have been delayed and are set to continue until March next year.

The £10 million improvement project started in October 2014, and was initially due to finish before the summer this year.

But Highways England announced this month that the work is behind schedule and will continue for another four months.

This means that those living in Crown Lane will not receive post throughout the Christmas period.

A total of six properties are affected.

Royal Mail said a risk assessment was carried out in the area and it was decided that deliveries would be suspended.

Val Bodden, a spokeswoman for Royal Mail, said: "Our postmen and women have to be extremely safety conscious, even under normal circumstances, when delivering to the affected addresses because Crown Lane has no footpaths or pavements.

"We apologise to residents for the inconvenience but we will not compromise on the health and safety of our postmen and women."

The local delivery manager is exploring potential solutions and is working with the affected customers and local businesses to establish alternative delivery arrangements.

Ms Bodden added: "In the meantime, we are asking customers to collect their mail from the delivery office in Basingstoke and we have also offered customers the option of arranging delivery via an alternative address.

"We deliver to almost 29 million addresses, so it is always a last resort if we decide not to deliver to a specific area. Mail will continue to be made available for customers to collect from the local delivery office until such time that we can restore deliveries."

Mark Pickering, who lives in Crown Lane, said he was more concerned that the road has been considered dangerous rather than that his post will not be delivered.

The 48-year-old father-of-two said: "It almost seems that someone will have to get injured badly before they do anything."

Mr Pickering, who works as a service architect, said he raised concerns about the road months ago, but nothing has been done.

He added: "When you have to walk your children to school with no pavement and there are lorries, in the morning it's particularly bad."

He said drivers use the village as a cut-through to avoid the queues at Black Dam Roundabout, adding: "No one seems to be listening. It always seems to be other people's problem. Royal Mail has highlighted the danger. I think that's brilliant. They have said we have got men and women who we don't want to risk their lives."

Councillor Seán Woodward, executive member for economy, transport and environment at Hampshire County Council, said: "I do appreciate how the increase in traffic through Old Basing due to the current Highways England works at Black Dam is frustrating for residents, particularly as the works are now taking much longer than Highways England originally anticipated.

"On top of this, off peak closures for two weekends this month have been agreed for BT to install a new connection for a local business – this request came in during August, and the county council agreed the closures as the Black Dam works, at that time, were due to have been completed by now and neither road is on the official diversion route."

He said the council has commissioned a series of traffic speed and volume surveys in Old Basing, before and during the Black Dam works, and following the news that Royal Mail has temporarily suspended deliveries to Crown Lane, a safety audit will be carried out for pedestrians.

It has also been agreed with Highways England that its contractor provides temporary road signs on A30 London Road to dissuade drivers from using Old Basing as a cut-through.

However, he added that at a time of "reduced financial resources" the council cannot spend money "installing measures we do not think will help".

He said: "I appreciate that some residents might consider a reduced speed limit the answer, but evidence shows that, if a new speed limit is unenforceable and not appropriate for the road – as determined by national guidelines – then drivers will soon ignore it. It is, I’m afraid, impossible to engineer complete road safety – we need the people using the road to use it as safely as possible, and drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to exercise consideration and care.

"It’s a difficult balance at the best of times, between the needs of local businesses, local residents, and those using the roads. We will continue to work with utilities companies and Highways England to minimise disruption to local residents while the Black Dam scheme to improve transport links in and around Basingstoke is completed. We then expect traffic in Old Basing to return to normal patterns."