Postal row over delivery targets

POSTWATCH has branded first class mail delivery to IP postcodes as "wholly unacceptable" following crunch talks with Royal Mail.The mail watchdog has accused Royal Mail of offering excuses for its missed targets and poor performance in Ipswich rather than identifying solutions.

POSTWATCH has branded first class mail delivery to IP postcodes as "wholly unacceptable" following crunch talks with Royal Mail.

The mail watchdog has accused Royal Mail of offering excuses for its missed targets and poor performance in Ipswich rather than identifying solutions.

Officials from Postwatch East and Royal Mail met to discuss the mail giant's failure to meet the government's target of 92.5 per cent of first class mail delivered on time.

Postwatch regional chairman Charles Winstanley said he was "unimpressed" by Royal Mail's response to the watchdog's call for improved performance.


You may also want to watch:


"We don't want excuses, we want the mail on time. It didn't seem to me that they were doing enough to tackle core issues," he said.

In IP postcodes, Royal Mail was only able to deliver 91 per cent of first class mail the next day in July, the latest period when figures were released.

Most Read

During the three months to June only 89.7pc of first class letters were delivered on time to areas with Ipswich postcodes.

Royal Mail hit back at its critics, saying its performance in Ipswich was improving.

A Royal Mail spokesman said: "We are surprised and disappointed by Mr Winstanley's comments bearing in mind the trend in quality of service is continuing to rise in East Anglia."

Postwatch said Royal Mail offered "excuses" for its performance in the East of England, in particular in Ipswich, Cambridge and Peterborough, including that the introduction of single daily delivery has meant postmen and women are less interested in the overtime on which holiday and sickness cover relies.

Mr Winstanley said Royal Mail updated Postwatch on the introduction of an improved laser pen for use by postmen and women when clearing boxes which will enforce collection times and frequency.

"Their big idea seemed to be a new laser pen, but I am not convinced that inefficient collection is the main reason for the dreadful figures," Mr Winstanley said.

"It should not surprise Royal Mail that tired staff who have just completed eight hours of sorting and delivery do not want overtime.

"If they need more staff they should recruit them, and on a permanent basis rather than as casual workers."

Royal Mail pledged improvements in the East of England was continuing.

"It is true that some figures will have been affected by unofficial

industrial action in Peterborough last month. But the fact that virtually

all the elements of the company's major change programme have already been implemented in East Anglia means that many of the claims made by him (Mr Winstanley) are out of date.

"To give an example, the use of temporary staff has fallen considerably with figures showing a drop from 22,000 to less than 4,000 nationally in less than a year.

"Far from presenting "excuses", the actions Royal Mail has put in place to improve quality of service have continued to work effectively. We remain determined to improve figures further for our customers."

Postwatch has pledged if first class delivery targets are not met in Ipswich it will request further talks with Royal Mail.

Weblink: www.postwatch.co.uk, www.royalmail.com

What do you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter