A POSTIE dubbed the real life Postman Pat is at the centre of a row after the Royal Mail banned him from taking his faithful dog with him on his round.

Andrew Jamieson, 28, has taken two-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier Oscar with him on his daily route since he began working on it eight months ago.

Oscar become such an institution that he even had his own postman's jacket with the Royal Mail livery on the back.

He and Andrew have become central to life in the coastal village of Tynemouth, North Tyneside, and Oscar is regarded as a local character.

His only danger was in piling on the pounds because he is fed, pies, biscuits and bacon rashers by business owners, pensioners and kids.

But now he has been banned from the round amid a furious row after a single complaint.

One householder complained that Oscar was not on a lead and therefore not under proper control.

Despite over 500 names being added to the petition from a delivery round of 600 households, the Royal Mail says the ban must stay in place.

Hairdresser Helen Collington, who owns the Head On salon in Tynemouth, organised the petition.

She said: "Oscar and Andrew are a great double act and marvellous ambassadors for the Royal Mail."

"Andrew is like our Postman Pat and I think it is an absolute tragedy that Oscar has been forced to stay at home."

Bob Wilson, 78, one of the householders on Andrew's route, said: "Oscar has such a lovely nature, I can't imagine why anyone would complain.

"Andy is a smashing lad, he's like Tynemouth's Postman Pat, but he misses Oscar as much as anyone."

Yesterday Andrew said: "They didn't stop Postman Pat taking Jess the cat on his rounds did they?

"He was fine and everybody loves him, they are so disappointed he can no longer come out with me.

"But I have to say that my job is the most important thing, I cannot lose my job so at the moment I have to just not take him with me.

A Royal Mail spokesman said: "The health and safety of all our staff - and of our customers - is of paramount importance to us.

"It is for these reasons that the postman has been told not to take the dog with him in future.

"We believe that even if it was always kept on a lead he would experience difficulty in carrying out his job while at the same time trying to control the animal."