Significant Reform Proposed for Royal Mail’s Delivery Service - Revamp on Cards for Royal Mail Letter Delivery Service

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Revamp on Cards for Royal Mail Letter Delivery Service

The Royal Mail’s traditional letter delivery service may undergo a significant transformation, with Ofcom, the industry watchdog, warning that the current system is “unsustainable” without reform. Ofcom’s proposed overhaul, outlined after a thorough review, suggests cutting the existing six-day-a-week service to either five days or three.

Royal Mail has been advocating for the elimination of Saturday letter deliveries, citing diminishing demand as a primary reason. Ofcom, acknowledging the need for modernisation, has presented two main options for reform, both requiring changes to existing laws. The first option is to reduce the service to five days a week, while the second option is a more drastic cut to just three days.

Alternatively, Ofcom proposes an overhaul of first and second class and business services, potentially resulting in a delivery system where most items take up to three days or longer, while a next-day service remains available for urgent letters.

According to Ofcom, such changes could lead to substantial cost savings for Royal Mail, ranging from £100 million to £200 million for a five-day service, and £400 million to £650 million for a three-day service. Maximum savings of up to £650 million could be achieved if the majority of letters were delivered within three days.

Ofcom Chief Executive Dame Melanie Dawes emphasized the importance of addressing the evolving postal landscape. She stated, “The universal service hasn’t changed since 2011; it’s getting out of date and will become unsustainable if we don’t take action.”

While acknowledging the critical role of postal workers in communities, Dawes outlined the need for a national discussion on the future of universal post. To maintain affordability during this transition, Ofcom has announced a cap on the price of second class stamps.

However, not everyone is accepting of these proposed changes. Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney expressed concerns about the potential impact on those already facing delayed deliveries, stating, “We shouldn’t be receiving a second-class service.” In contrast, Postal Affairs Minister Kevin Hollinrake affirmed the government’s commitment to a six-day service from the Royal Mail, suggesting that a sustainable model can be achieved without drastic cuts.

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