Royal Mail cuts back on post box collections
Royal Mail cut nearly 6,500 post box collections last year, figures have revealed.
The postal service also brought forward final collection times at more than 4,000 post boxes, meaning customers have to post their letters earlier.
In the 12 months to March 2012, Royal Mail cut 9,689 collections from some post boxes, while adding 3,236 at others – leaving a net loss of 6,453 collections. Figures also show the final collection times for 10,006 mail boxes were brought forward, while the times were extended for 5,719.
Heulyn Gwyn Davies, a spokesman for Royal Mail, said: “This is sensible ongoing business management which simply reflects changing mail volumes in specific locations.”
He said the number of post boxes in the Royal Mail network has increased by 48 over the last three years to 115,271 despite a decrease in mail volume, adding that the postal service makes 270,000 collections a day.
The collection figures are not published as a matter of routine, but were disclosed after a Freedom of Information request by shadow postal affairs minister Ian Murray.
Royal Mail has defended the cuts, saying that it was adjusting the frequency and times of collections at its post boxes to suit demand and to save money.
Davies said: “Royal Mail is committed to maintaining one of the highest quality postal services in Europe. We collect and deliver six days a week, often more than once a day, while the EU Directive only requires us to collect once a day, five days a week.”
The company also has to stick to strict final collection times for each post box under an agreement with postal regulator Ofcom, Davies said.
He added: “From time to time, as a matter of good business practice, we make adjustments to the final collection times within the allowed windows, or the number of collections per day. We may plan earlier collection times for low volume boxes and later collection times for high volume boxes.”
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