Mail Delivery Suspended in a London Street Because of Rat Infestation

August 8, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. infestation / ˌɪn fɛˈsteɪ ʃən / (n.) – 
the condition in which a large number of pests or animals enter an area
Example: There was an infestation of cockroaches in the town.

2. jeopardize / ˈdʒɛp ərˌdaɪz /  (v.) – to endanger or to put someone or something at risk
Example: Eating junk food may jeopardize your health.

3. suspend / səˈspɛnd / (v.) – to temporarily stop something  
Example: The train service was suspended because of technical problems.

4. nearby / ˈnɪərˈbaɪ / (adj.) – close or situated in a near place
Example: My friend lives in a nearby dormitory.

5. dispose of / dɪˈspoʊz ʌv / (v. phrase) – to get rid of or to throw away
Example: What is the best way to dispose of food scraps?


Read the text below.
Royal Mail, the most trusted postal service company in the United Kingdom, has decided to temporarily stop delivering mail at Norbury [NAWR-buh-ree], South West London, because of its rat infestation.

The road in the district is full of garbage that attracts many rats, which can pose danger among the company’s employees. Because the safety of Royal Mail’s mail carriers can be jeopardized, the company has decided to suspend its delivery in the area. The company has informed the residents that it will resume the delivery in the district only when the place is considered rat-free.

Royal Mail has already raised the concern about the rat infestation to businesses, homeowners, and local authorities of Norbury back in May. However, the authorities began addressing the problem only when the company followed up on the issue on June 1.

Because deliveries have been suspended in the area, Norbury residents will have to pick up their mail at a nearby delivery office. They also have the option to have their mail delivered to another address.

A spokesperson from Croydon Council, the local authority in charge of the district, explained that the rat infestation was not immediately addressed because the waste of some local shops were not properly disposed of. The council, however, is now in the process of cleaning the area with the help of a pest control contractor.

The council has also asked Norbury’s traders and residents to keep their trash bins within their properties and not in the service road. Those who will not comply with this notice will be charged by the council.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What are your thoughts about Royal Mail’s decision to suspend its delivery in Norbury?
·         How else can the Croydon Council make sure that the residents maintain cleanliness in their area?

Discussion B

·         What other risks can dirty surroundings cause to humans?
·         How can cleanliness and sanitation be ensured in neighborhoods?

August 8, 2015