RESIDENTS in a village near Worcester have voiced concern that their village has been without a permanent postbox since before Christmas.

Martley Parish Council says its previous postbox was removed before the festive season following closure of the shop where it was sited.

A postbox has since been placed in another village store next door, but villagers say this is small and can only be used during shop opening hours.

"The parish council is most concerned at the lack of a postbox in the centre of this very busy village," said Janet Dale, clerk to Martley Parish Council.

"When the parish council was first alerted to the removal of the postbox I contacted Royal Mail on behalf of the parishioners.

"My first contact was December 9 (2013) and between then and now I have either emailed or telephoned at least 20 times with absolutely no satisfactory response from them.

"My last telephone contact was Monday, March 24 when I was told I would receive an email update. "Nothing has been received."

Royal Mail said the postbox was removed at the request of the owner of the property when the Post Office was moved to a new location.

"We put an indoor postbox in the new Post Office branch while investigating the re-siting of the former postbox," said a Royal Mail spokesperson.

Royal Mail says it is now waiting for the results of underground utility cable and landowner searches at the proposed new postbox site, believed to be opposite the current shop.

"Royal Mail apologises to customers for the temporary inconvenience and in the meantime, we would ask customers to use any other postboxes in the area or drop off mail at the Post Office branch."

The spokesperson said anyone who has any concerns about their mail should call customer services on 08457 740 740.