A survey published today confirms that the average time you will wait in a queue at the Post Office is 46 minutes and it doesn’t matter how many tills are open or how many people are in front of you.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast retail analyst, Penny Woolmer, explains: ‘You may join a queue to buy a first class stamp, with as few as two people in front of you, but it’s immaterial because statistically, 94% of the time in fact, the person being served is in the process of returning 11 parcels to Next, after which they will then tax their car and apply for a passport. And just when you think they’ve finally finished you hear ‘Oh, and I had better get a book of stamps too while I’m at it’ which adds another three minutes to your wait’.

‘And if only that was the end of it, but of course it’s not,’ continues Penny. ‘You’re one away from the window and the person being served is withdrawing money from their savings account. But things grind to a halt, statistically this time on an average of 89.6% for all visits, as they’ve forgotten the pin number for their card. They then hunt through their handbag as they ‘have it written on a little piece of paper, dear’. It takes five minutes to locate the scrunched-up scrap paper and then a further two for them to find their glasses. But by now there’s a glitch in the system and the person behind the window has to reboot the till to start the whole grim business over again. So all of these kinds of incidents taken together and then repeated across the UK means a national average waiting time of 46 minutes.’

However, Brian Millar, an OAP from Bolton told Charlie Stayt: ‘There can be a lot of grumbling in the queue, but I don’t mind it generally. Once in my local branch when collecting my pension, I had to wait for three hours as two women were buying stamps for their Christmas cards. It didn’t really bother me though as it meant that I had to buy one less stamp for my gas as I didn’t need to put the central heating on that morning, see?