20th Dec 2018
Residents living in south London have complained that they have faced months of postal problems in the aftermath of Royal Mail’s decision to close a major depot in the area.
In September, Royal Mail closed its Silvester Road depot, with postal deliveries now being sorted and delivered at a much larger depot in Peckham.
A number of customers have complained to Royal Mail bosses and their local MP, Helen Hayes, that the postal service in the area has been thrown into chaos as a result.
Customers claim that the problems started almost immediately after the switch, and some have complained that they are lucky if they get one delivery a week. Postal workers have apparently admitted to customers that they don’t have time to complete rounds.
Hayes said: “It has been a complete shambles, and is exactly what we predicted when we originally fought the closure of the office. Royal Mail would not listen and this has been the outcome.
“The nearby West Norwood office is also under threat of closure and, if that goes ahead, I predict the problems seen in East Dulwich will be dwarfed by that. Royal Mail needs to learn from this and think again.”
A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: “At Peckham, we do believe the situation in the customer services point has improved. It is the busiest time of year and there are many more people picking up mail than normal. We have a dedicated manager working in the customer service point all through the festive season.
“Fifty-two offices have closed since privatisation, less than 4% of our delivery office estate. On average, that is around 12 offices a year, which is broadly comparable with the closures pre-privatisation.
“During the period since privatisation, letter volumes have declined by around 12%. Because letter volumes have fallen, from time to time we have had to close delivery offices. But the number of offices we have closed is significantly less than the decline in volumes. Delivery office closures are entirely unrelated to privatisation. They occurred in state ownership too. Royal Mail has by far the largest delivery office network in the UK and that will continue to be the case.”