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Newbury - Revised collection times from Newbury Post Boxes from September 2014

Started by Administrator, February 28, 2015, 10:00:39 am

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Newbury - Revised collection times from Newbury Post Boxes from September 2014

This is the postbox in the Andover Road Newbury adjacent to Gwyn Close. On initial inspection, it would appear that you have to be up very early to ensure that your mail is collected on the same day. This photograph was taken at 2.00pm on Wednesday of this week (25th February) and the box still hadn't been emptied. Obviously there is still some variation to the advised collection times.

Listed below is the official guidance from the newly privatised Royal Mail:

What changes are taking place and why?

We are improving the level of public access to postboxes in areas of under-provision, by adding around 2,000 boxes to the 115,000 we currently have. 45,000 to 50,000 low-use boxes will move to 'collection on delivery' with the postman or woman emptying the box on their round, rather than providing a dedicated collection by van. No postboxes will be removed from service as a result of this initiative.

When is all the change happening?

We started making changes in September 2014 (October in Scotland). We fixed a notification label to all boxes that are going to be 'Collected on Delivery' at least four weeks before the planned changes. New box plates should start to appear throughout the Autumn as the changes are rolled out. These will show the new collection times and the location of alternative, later-collection boxes.

Why has the collection time for my postbox been changed?

There has been a significant fall in the number of items posted in postboxes, leaving many now not covering their costs. Rather than decommission uneconomic ones, we're improving the cost effectiveness of collections. Emptying these low-use boxes on delivery enables us to be much more efficient going forward.

Why is the collection time from my local postbox now so early?

Because of the need to improve the efficiency of our collections and maintain collections from postboxes, your local box is now collected by our postmen and women whilst out on delivery. This means the box will be cleared earlier in the day. There will be no change to the ultimate delivery of the items you post, they will go through our system in exactly the same way. There should be a later collection from another nearby box, typically in the late afternoon. 

Why's my box being cleared earlier and not the one down the road?

Not all postbox collection times are changing, the majority will keep a 4pm or later collection time. We've carefully considered the distribution of all our postboxes and their accessibility. Our plan is balanced, based on usage and the need for later collections in the area and we believe provides the best mix of earlier and later boxes for all our customers in the area. Your box receives fewer than 50 items a day and is within half a mile of another box which is keeping its later collection time.

The postman on delivery is now emptying my postbox, but a long time after 9am each day

'Collection on Delivery' means the postman or woman on delivery is clearing your box on their round, at a time dependent on where the box is located on that route. Typically this could be up until 3pm in urban and suburban areas, but this should never be earlier than 9am. As is the case now, the indicator tab on the postbox will show if the collection has been made.

You say you are going to install 2000 new postboxes - where are these going to be?

The new boxes will be targeted mainly at rural areas where there are already fewer boxes than in other parts of the country, in particular in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Some will go into areas of new development not currently served by a postbox and some will be added in high footfall areas such as railway stations and shopping centres. We're currently in the process of identifying the likely future locations.

Why can't we have one of the new boxes in our street?

It's likely there are other boxes in your area. We aim to have enough boxes so that over 98% of all UK households are within half a mile of a postbox. Royal Mail is already compliant with these criteria and we have the highest density of postboxes of any country in Europe (which publishes the data). With the addition of around 2,000 new boxes, we'll be improving on this level of provision.

How do I find out where the nearest box with a later collection time is?

Call our dedicated Customer Service Team on 03456 011399 and they will be pleased to help you find your nearest box with a later collection time.

Isn't this just a cost-cutting excercise typical of a newly privatised business?

Every business needs to examine its costs and Royal Mail is no different. In order to protect the long term future of postbox collections, we need to improve our efficiency and become as cost-effective as possible. Moving these low-usage boxes to a 'collection on delivery' footing enables us to realise these savings and maintain service to customers.

Has any consultation been entered into before deciding to do this?

We have communicated our plans to Ofcom, Citizen's Advice, Citizen's Advice Scotland and Consumer Council Northern Ireland. Research shows that postal users are positive about the idea of moving collections, particularly from low-use boxes, to link with delivery. 91% of users did not choose their box based on collection time. Users understand this approach is more efficient and fitted with their desire for a more efficient postal service. We will put a notice on every affected postbox four weeks ahead of the change to collection times. There will also be clear sign-posting for customers on the relevant postboxes as to where their nearest late posting box is.

Old Goat

That's actually quite sensible.  Improving productivity in a declining market without really damaging service over much.  Makes a change from stopping the service altogether or jacking up the price to unaffordable levels.