A rat infestation has seen Royal Mail stop delivering post to a side street.

The people living in the flats in a service road behind London Road, Norbury, all received a letter on Friday saying the postman will not be back until it is cleaned up.

Royal Mail took the step of suspending deliveries after the postman raised concerns about rats in the street, which have been drawn to the area to feed on the rubbish and decomposing food.

Until the company is satisfied it is rat free, people who live there will have to collect their letters from the delivery office.

Alternatively they can nominate another address nearby where their mail can be taken.

Ian Clarke, the chairman of the Scots Estate Norbury Residents Association and the Love Norbury group, said: “There is a major problem with rats there.

“One of the residents there has got a problem with the rats getting into his car and causing damage by chewing through things.

“It’s a real mess down there.

“There are various things that need doing as the rubbish is coming from the flats above the shops, the shops and from people dumping there.

“I think we need CCTV cameras there.”

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One man, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, said there has been a rat problem in the street for about five years and it has been getting worse.

He said: “It’s a plague there.

“The postman is scared of delivering and there are big ones there, the size of kittens.”

Mr Clarke said the cabinet member for Clean Green Croydon, Councillor Stuart Collins, came to the residents association meeting last Saturday and was very positive about getting the problem resolved.

Royal Mail said it wrote to businesses and homeowners on May 20 and told Croydon Council about the problem.

It said a clean up only started after they raised the issue again with the council on June 1.

Royal Mail spokeswoman, Sally Hopkins, said: “We have temporarily suspended deliveries as the road is badly littered with rubbish, which has attracted many rats.

“Croydon Council has committed to clean up the road.

“Once we are happy that this has been done, we will be able to resume deliveries.

“The safety and welfare of our staff is paramount and we only suspend deliveries if the safety of our postmen and women is at risk and as a last resort.”