Savage cuts to the number of Wimbledon postmen has thrown the service into crisis and created a two-week letter mountain backlog for addresses across SW19.

Postmen are being forced to do longer rounds in fewer hours after a sweeping restucturing of the service caused chaos according to the Communication Workers Union (CWU).

Wimbledon is the worst hit area in south London, according to the CWU, prompting Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond to hit out at the Royal Mail for overloading its postal workers under the new system.

He said: “The situation is unacceptable. I’ve received complaints from the staff who are being asked to deliver more letters in eight hours than they were in 10, and that’s not to mention the Wimbledon residents who are being badly let down.”

He added that he has written to Adam Crozier, chief executive of Royal Mail, demanding assistance be given to the struggling workforce based in the Cranbrook Road distribution centre.

Albany Road resident, Lisa Courtney, said: “We have been waiting for post for over two weeks now, and according to a postman I asked it will not be sorted anytime soon.

“There is a huge backlog of mail waiting in the sorting office with nobody to sort it, its a total disgrace. My son is 18 on Monday and won’t be getting cards or gifts in time.”

A controversial new computer system used to calculate delivery routes has led to 50 planned job losses in Wimbledon - a third of its workforce - and the removal of 23 delivery rounds.

The Royal Mail claims the “Pegasus” system has been designed to increase efficiency.

Greg Charles, branch secretary of the CWU in south west London, said: “Mountains of post are gathering in Wimbledon where they have cut rounds. There hasn’t been a full delivery since August 24 when the new system was brought in.

“The situation is catastrophic. I’ve even had reports of an agency worker being drafted in that’s started early in the morning and still not finished his round at 7.30 in the evening.”

The changes have sparked a round of one-day strikes that will increase the backlog. Only four other centres in London have been restructured although several more are to follow over the next two weeks including Putney and Wandsworth Town offices.

But the Royal Mail’s operations director, Paul Tolhurst, said union strikes were political posturing.

He added: “Royal Mail is getting on with modernisation in an entirely fair and reasonable way which is completely in line with our existing agreement with the union on flexible working practices.”