Royal Mail poll backs standard for six-day-a-week postal delivery

Royal Mail poll backs standard for six-day-a-week postal delivery

Royal Mail has hit out at rivals TNT Post UK as expectations that its end-to-end delivery service is set to expand further in the UK. The universal service provider commissioned new research from Ipsos Mori that polled people in seven of the UK’s major cities.

The study found that 81% of households believe that no matter who delivers the mail, they should deliver six days per week.

Two in three of those surveyed said they were “dependent to some extent” on mail being delivered every day except Sunday.

Royal Mail has enjoyed a largely unchallenged monopoly on final mile postal delivery in the UK before TNT Post UK launched its first door-to-door mail delivery service in West London in April 2012. That service has now expanded within central and southwest London, launching in Manchester last year.

But while TNT Post UK’s business mail delivery service delivers to homes three days per week — on alternate days — Royal Mail is adamant that companies allowed to compete with its service should be required to meet the same regulated conditions, including to deliver six days per week.

Royal Mail said it was issuing the new research on the public’s view on mail delivery in the expectation that competition from TNT Post will soon “intensify”. In December TNT Post found an investment partner to help roll out its door-to-door service across the UK.

Stephen Agar, the Royal Mail managing director consumer and network access, said the Ipsos Mori survey backed his company’s view that the public want their mail delivered six days per week.

“Royal Mail welcomes competition, but it needs to be on a level playing field,” he said. “Our competitors can cherry pick areas in which to deliver mail and determine the frequency of those deliveries. They are also not required to publish regular performance information about deliveries that is collected and verified independently.”

“Highly valued”

Royal Mail’s survey polled 3,500 adults aged 16 or over, from Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester in December and January.

Along with the six-day service, the survey found even stronger favour for the ability to collect undelivered mail items from a local collection facility, with 91% stating that it was important.

Royal Mail said it has “significant” fixed costs in providing the universal service in the UK, which requires it to deliver six days per week to 29m households. Its competitors are not bound by such requirements, and can provide services in the more profitable urban areas, rather than having to service all addresses.

Agar said Royal Mail’s service is “highly valued” in the communities it serves. “In turn, Royal Mail provides quality employment in our biggest cities – and makes a positive economic contribution in areas where quality employment opportunities are scarce,” he said.

The Communication Workers Union, which represents about 115,000 of Royal Mail’s non-managerial staff, as well as staff in competing companies, said it backed the “strong” public support for six-day-a-week postal delivery.

The union said it also wants to see this as a standards required for all mail delivery companies.

Dave Ward, the CWU general secretary, said six-day delivery should be the standard “across the board.

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“This research shows that customers are overwhelmingly dependent on a six-day service. Royal Mail is unique in offering this service,” he said.

“We have worked with Royal Mail to ensure that they set the bar high in terms of the services they provide customers as well as employee pay and terms and conditions. We will continue to push other delivery companies to offer a six-day-a-week service as standard.”

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1 Comment

  1. aero71

    Utter tosh! It’s about time Royal Mail came in line with other courier firms, not other courier firms coming in line with RM…!

    I don’t believe that many members of the public are bothered about receiving mail on a Saturday…..let alone the poor posties that have to struggle round the streets till 2 or 3pm, who would much rather be spending quality time with their families and loved ones……

    Also, think about the cost involved in six day working….the sixth day is overtime @ £10+ per hour x each postie that works….then add all the extra fuel…lights, heating…all adds up at the end of the day to quite a hefty figure.

    So you find me someone who really is that worried about a mailshot or two which ends up in the bin!

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