Chiswick Post Office could be a thing of the past

Royal Mail loses its 350 year monopoly on postal services

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Chiswick Post Office will face stiff competition from rival firms as the Royal Mail's 350 year monopoly on stamped letter delivery ends at midnight tonight, 31st December 2005.

The entire mail service is set for a revolution that will give other companies the right to collect, sort and deliver first and second class letters.  Initially, organisations such as the German Deutsche Post are expected to only be interested in the lucrative business sector.

However, it is thought that alternative sites for non business post will be set up in locations such as supermarkets where Chiswickians can combine two of their favourite past times - queuing in the Post Office and in Sainsburys!

A Royal Mail source told the Evening Standard "I can't ever see lots of rival postmen walking up the garden path but there will be more collection points."

The government, as Royal Mail's lone shareholder, has received more than £2,300 million in dividends from Royal Mail since 1984, although since 1999 it has waived the right to these to enable the company to reinvest the cash into improving its competitiveness. 

In a report published just before Christmas, the Commons trade and industry committee warned that Royal Mail liberalisation could be damaging if it happens too quickly. The report stated "The evidence that liberalisation delivers an improved service for customers is compelling but we regard PostComm's choice of dates for the move to full liberalisation in the UK postal services market to be an untimely one.  Royal Mail has been asked to prepare competition at a time of great uncertainty."

"Postcomm is reviewing the price Royal Mail can charge for its regulated services and the company also faces huge challenges in addressing a pensions deficit and investment needs."


December 31, 2005