Changes To Postal System May Delay Mail
Fewer letters & more parcels mean changes for Chiswick
A drop in the number of letters being posted has prompted the Royal Mail in Chiswick to reorganise its delivery routes which may delay post to some Chiswick customers.
More people are shopping on-line, leading to heavier parcels being delivered locally and fewer 'lighter' items such as bills and bank statements are being sent through the post.
Residents in the W4 area have been told by Royal Mail to expect changes over the next few weeks as they seek to train in their staff in new equipment.
"The new equipment will help to reduce the risk of injury to our postmen and women from carrying heavier mail bags" said the letter. It is understood the staff will now use trolleys to cope with parcels and packets.
However, customers may now receive their mail at different times of the day as routes are being re-organised.
"As I am sure you understand, when mail volumes vary, I may need to adjust delivery arrangements and times" said the letter which was delivered to locals in W4 from the Delivery Sector Manager for Chiswick, Brett Thomas.
However, he added "We will continue to deliver in the morning and for a longer period during the day. Many customers will continue to get their mail by lunchtime".
But some customers in Chiswick have complained that there is continuous " misdelivery" of mail. Retired businessman Bill White of Chiswick wrote to ChiswickW4.com to say that mailed items were often delivered to the wrong house in his road, or to the right number but for an entirely different road.
"This could be a serious matter if it contained material setting a deadline such as court papers , as mailed documents are deemed by law to have been delivered to an addressee within a short fixed period of the date of mailing." he commented.
He queried whether the errors occurred at the sorting, or delivery stages.
A spokeswoman for Royal Mail, Sally Hopkins, said that the changes in the delivery system were part of a national change. The changes in Chiswick started three weeks ago.
"Some people might have been at the start of a delivery route and that may change with the new system and they may now be at the end of the route. That would mean their mail is delivered a bit later".
She said if mail was misdelivered people should contact Customer Services so the complaint could be logged and investigated. If a pattern emerged the company could then identify it and deal with the situation.The number to contact is 08457 740 740 or the website is www.royalmail.com
National Royal Mail delivered 84 million items a day five years ago but the latest results show a 6% decrease in letter volumes over the past year to 59 million letters. The forecast is for a continued decline, partly due to rival operators such as DHL and TNT,who now carry more than one in three letters and more than half of all business mail and partly to lifestyle changes such as increased use of the internet and online billing. ChiswickW4.com was unable to get figures for the Chiswick area.