Traders and residents have complained they will be forced to pay for parcels to be delivered to their nearest post office when an Oxford sorting office closes.

And they say postmen and women delivering parcels are pushing cards through people's letter boxes instead of checking if anyone is in.

Lime Walk sorting office in Headington is set to shut as the Royal Mail attempts to modernise.

The company's poor delivery service has been under fire for months, with the Oxford Mail receiving scores of complaints about delayed post.

Jill Cummings, of Headington Business Association, who runs Time and Elegance jewellers in Windmill Road, said: "The closure of Lime Walk sorting office means if we have a package to collect you will have to go to the other office in Sandy Lane, Blackbird Leys.

"The Royal Mail says you can collect it at your local post office, but there will be a charge for this service. There is no direct bus from Headington to Sandy Lane"

David Rundle, city councillor for Headington, said Royal Mail should have undergone a longer consultation before announcing the office was to close.

Mary Clarkson, city councillor for Marston, said: "We have had several occasions when staff have been putting cards through our door for parcels and letters that need to be signed for and not even ringing the bell.

"I have had to walk up to Lime Walk several times and I really resent having to pick something up that should have been delivered."

Dan Panes, Royal Mail spokesman, said: "Postmen and women never carry parcels with them. Because of their bulkiness they are delivered separately, and the deliverer knocks on a door before they push the card through the letter box."

He said there was a 50p charge for picking up items from a post office, but said Royal Mail could arrange to deliver parcels at a mutually convenient time.

He said the time could include before 8am and after 5pm, to fit in with people's work times.