WHEN a postbox was damaged in a car accident people living nearby assumed it would be replaced.

Fourteen months on and there is still no sign of it but residents of Ramsey St Mary's have not given up hope, despite being told it will not be reinstated.

The box, in Herne Road, was knocked over in May last year when a car pulling a trailer lost control and ended up in a hedge.

Debs Corney, a Herne Road resident for 27 years, reported what had happened and a lamppost damaged in the crash was up and working again within two weeks.

But Royal Mail told her it would take at least 16 weeks for the return of the postbox, as it would need planning permission.

When asked by The Hunts Post, a Huntingdonshire District Council spokesman confirmed planning permission was not necessary.

"I did nothing about it until mid-September when I rang," continued Mrs Corney. "In October I had my first letter back."

Mrs Corney was told Royal Mail had decided the area "did not warrant the re-installation of a postbox at this time" as Ramsey St Mary's Post Office was less than a mile away.

Undeterred, she called for others to help put pressure on Royal Mail and Cathy Roper, of Fisher Close, collected 30 signatures demanding the postbox be put back.

"People did use it," she said. "And that included a 91-year-old.

"The postman passes where the box stood so emptying it would be on his rounds."

In February, Royal Mail responded, reiterating its decision not to replace the box. It said a study had shown just 13 letters had been posted there in a week and that putting it back would require "extensive work".

The letter concluded: "The low usage of the box as well as the low volumes of mail in the area confirm that there is no need for it."

Anyta Francis, also of Fisher Close, e-mailed Royal Mail to ask it to reconsider.

"A lot of people do not have cars and don't have family in the village," she said.

"They certainly don't have computers. They are isolated and relied on the postbox to contact others."

The three friends have vowed not to let the matter rest and were considering their next move.

No-one from Royal Mail could provide a comment by the time The Hunts Post went to press.