250-mile round trip to final destination for letters

IT should have been a no-hassle journey for these letters.

Lizzie Parry

IT should have been a no-hassle journey for these letters.

All posted from various towns and villages across Suffolk, they were destined for the East Anglian Daily Times offices in Ipswich.

However they all made a 200 mile detour via…Watford.

The diversion, which Royal Mail claim is because of the recent strike action at the Ipswich sorting office, has been criticised for its impact on the environment.

One letter from Rumburgh travelled nearly 250 miles to be sorted in Watford and took more than three hours in journey time.

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Another posted in Worlingworth covered a 200 mile round trip.

Green councillor Mark Ereira-Guyer from Suffolk County Council said big organisations like Royal Mail should consider their carbon emissions.

“All organisations whatever their circumstances have to look at how they reduce their carbon emissions, otherwise it makes a mockery of everyone's own personal efforts.

“It's plain daft to send a small letter from a Suffolk village all the way to Watford and then back to Ipswich.”

A spokesperson for Royal Mail said it was quite common for letters to be sent to different sorting offices if nearby offices are running at capacity.

She said: “We do not have particular problems at the Ipswich sorting office on that day but we did have strikes there a few weeks ago.

“Using different sorting offices is part of our contingency plans if there are strikes or they are running to capacity. We always attempt to send mail to the nearest sorting office, but as they all use the same sorting mechanism it could technically get sent anywhere in the country.

“It does put a strain on our resources because we still ensure the same service.

“It can be quite a regular occurrence.”

Despite the detour, all the letters arrived by next day delivery.