By Linda Hall •
Updated: 24 Jan 2024 • 13:55
ROYAL MAIL: Saturday deliveries could be phased out
Photo credit: CC/kitmasterbloke
Royal Mail could save £650 million (€760.8 million) annually by delivering letters three days each week.
Eliminating now-obligatory Saturday deliveries and distributing letters five times a week would save between £100 million (€117.1 million) and £200 million (€234.2 million), Ofcom, the UK’s Communications regulator, said.
Future changes could include first- and second-class deliveries taking up to three days or longer, with a next-day service for urgent letters.
Calculating that the universal service obligation (USO) costs Royal Mail between £325 million (€380.4 million) and £675 million (€790.1 million), Ofcom also suggested maintaining Saturday deliveries while supporting the company with a state subsidy or a levy on other industry operators.
Ofcom’s chief executive Dame Melanie Dawes stressed that postal workers were “critical” to Britain’s communities.
“But we’re sending half as many letters as we did in 2011 and receiving many more parcels,” she said.
Dawes added that the USO, which has not changed since then, was out of date and would become financially and operationally unsustainable unless action was taken.
An Ofcom survey found that reliable letter deliveries was important for 88 per cent of respondents while Saturday deliveries were still important for 58 per cent, compared with 63 per cent in 2020.
Meanwhile, Postal Affairs minister Kevin Hollinrake told a Radio Times interviewer that Britain’s PM, Rishi Sunak was “very clear” that a six-day delivery was important for people and businesses.
“I believe the Royal Mail can build a sustainable model,” Hollinrake said. But that sustainable model must be based on a six-day service.”
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Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share?
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