The Consumer Council has said consumers should be aware of changes Royal Mail is introducing to collection times of some post boxes across NI.
As part of changes to the post box network announced this week, Royal Mail plans to move up to 300 (12%) of its NI post boxes which carry fewer than 50 items per day to an earlier collection time. The changes mean that mail in some areas will be picked up by the postman or woman as part of their delivery round between 9am and 3pm, whilst others will keep a 4pm or later collection time.
Royal Mail also intends to introduce 2000 new post boxes to the existing UK network targeted at rural locations as well as places such as train stations and shopping centres. NI is to benefit from a large number of these post boxes, however the Consumer Council says these must be placed in areas which will benefit consumers most here.
Speaking about Royal Mail’s forthcoming changes, Consumer Council Head of Policy (Postal Services) Kellin McCloskey said; “The Consumer Council recognises the need for Royal Mail to make savings in its operations particularly given falling letter volumes.
“However we know that ‘collection on delivery’ may mean significant collection time changes for some consumers. This may impact in particular on people living in urban areas where there are more post boxes as well as small businesses which rely heavily on the postal service.
Kellin continues; “We welcome Royal Mail’s commitment that if a post box collection time changes, there will be a post box with a 4pm or later collection time no more than half a mile away.
“We also welcome the introduction of new post boxes which are to be particularly focused on NI where the level of post box provision is slightly lower than the rest of the UK. We will therefore be working closely with Royal Mail to identify the areas in NI which would benefit most from a post box facility,” said Kellin.
The Consumer Council’s website has a dedicated section with information and advice regarding postal services in Northern Ireland. For more information visit www.consumercouncil.org.uk or contact the Consumer Council on 0800 121 6022. Follow the Consumer Council on twitter and facebook for useful consumer tips and advice.