Thank you for contacting me about Royal Mail and their Customer Service Points.
I share your disappointment as I know how vital Royal Mail and the services it provides are for so many communities across the country, particularly in rural areas like ours.
In November Royal Mail announced a review of their 1,200 Customer Service Points to determine the optimum number of locations following a 50 per cent drop in footfall since the pandemic. After completing the first stage of the review, and considering a range of options, Royal Mail has decided to maintain the current estate of Customer Service Points as they seek to further improve their first-time delivery rates.
Following successful trials, Royal Mail will additionally roll out automatic next-day redeliveries for missed parcels in the coming months. This is designed to make it even easier for customers to receive parcels at home, without the need to travel to a Customer Service Point. This initiative builds on the introduction of a range of alternative delivery options for greater convenience in recent years, including free redelivery, delivery to a neighbour, the option to leave parcels in a Safeplace and inflight redirections through the Royal Mail App.
As footfall continues to decrease, the next stage of this review will focus on ensuring that Customer Service Point opening hours match customer demand.
Under the Postal Services Act 2011 Royal Mail is a private organisation and it is the responsibility of the independent postal services regulator Ofcom to ensure that the company carries out its functions properly.
Competition is important and can drive efficiency, but it should not be allowed to undermine the future viability of the universal service. The Government has given Ofcom the power to monitor what is happening in the postal market and if necessary, the power to intervene to level the playing field.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP