Concern in Dartmouth over Royal Mail's 'truly bizarre' changes to deliveries
POSTIES in Dartmouth could be delivering mail whenever they can — or have enough of it to make it worth their while — as part of a new restructured Royal Mail service.
Royal Mail is making changes to the way it delivers mail in the town over the next few weeks.
Postmen and women will use new delivery methods and adopt revised delivery routes.
Royal Mail bosses said the time customers receive mail will depend on where they live on the new delivery route.
This may be later or possibly earlier than currently.
When mail volumes vary, delivery arrangements and times will also have to be adjusted.
Town councillor Dave Cawley said the company's announcement was 'truly bizarre' and hoped the changes would not have an impact on the many small mail order companies which rely on regular early deliveries and collection times for their business.
Royal Mail said the changes had been brought in because fewer letters are being posted while at the same time the volume of parcels being posted is on the rise.
A spokesman said: "Our postmen and women play a vital role in Dartmouth, as well as across the rest of the UK, where we deliver to almost 29 million addresses, six days a week.
"However, we need to modernise the way we operate. We are therefore making changes in Dartmouth to maintain our services and to keep our prices as low as possible.
"Unfortunately, fewer letters are now posted every day and Royal Mail needs to organise its delivery routes to be as efficient as possible.
"We also deliver an increasing number of larger items and so we are investing in new equipment to carry these items to customers even more securely."
He added: "The vast majority of our customers will not see the difference. We're not picking on Dartmouth. This is being rolled out across the country."
Cllr Cawley said: "It wasn't long ago that the Churchfields Post Office closed and now dozens of small business have to find a place to park and queue up to a dozen deep in the Spar shop to service their mail order business.
"Dartmouth has many dozens of small businesses that rely on the Royal Mail. Any further reduction in service will cause difficulties for them.
"They complain of fewer people posting letters while increasing prices and reducing services. They couldn't shoot themselves in the foot any harder if they tried.
"Right now we get an excellent service from our local postman. He delivers at about 9am, enough time to process anything and get it sorted in the same day."