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Town scrapes postal pass mark

PUBLISHED: 14:48 27 May 2004 | UPDATED: 04:54 02 March 2010

POSTMEN in Ipswich received a stamp of approval from Royal Mail today after being the only area in the east of England to deliver on national targets.

The town has topped the league table for delivering its first class mail to destinations across the UK the next day - just scraping past the minimum target of 90.

POSTMEN in Ipswich received a stamp of approval from Royal Mail today after being the only area in the east of England to deliver on national targets.

The town has topped the league table for delivering its first class mail to destinations across the UK the next day - just scraping past the minimum target of 90.5 per cent.

During the last financial year Ipswich's postal service delivered 90.6pc of its letters on time to emerge as the best service in the region.

The previous year the town was could only claim seventh place in the league with 90pc. The runaway winners Cambridge achieved 93.9pc.

Despite Ipswich's success last year the other eight other postcode areas failed to meet the minimum targets, the worst being Chelmsford with 85.8pc, Norwich 87.1pc, and Colchester 87.8pc.

The poor performance was blamed on industrial action that affected the quality of service in the east of England during the second half of the last financial year.

Roger Baynes, Royal Mail's director of operations for the east, said: "The trends during the first half of the year show that our actions to drive up the quality of the service are effective.

"We now have to make up the ground lost because of the effect of the industrial action during the autumn of last year.

"Our performance in most of our east of England areas has shown improvement in the final quarter."

"We are making changes of unprecedented scale and pace to the way mails is sorted, transported and delivered. The change is vital for the future of the company, putting in place the foundation that will enable us to consistently meet or exceed targets and get more letters to our customers on time."

But Dr Charles Winstanley, chairman of the east of England division of the postal service watchdog Postwatch, disagreed with the Royal Mail spokesman.

He said: "This performance is part of a three-year decline in service and cannot be blamed on the unofficial industrial action which affected London and consequently the east region in November.

"Customers can be assured that Postwatch is going to do something about performance in the east."

What do you think of your postal service? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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