Thursday, 21 March 2013

Assurances sought on operational changes by Royal Mail in the West End

I recently sought assurances from Royal Mail regarding their changes to mail deliveries across Dundee West that will start in the DD2 part of the West End next Monday.   The DD1 part of our area is thus far not affected.

The changes are part of the “Way Forward” introduced by Royal Mail and I sought assurances given the problems a similar introduction had caused some time ago in Dundee East.

The response from Royal Mail is here:

Dear Councillor Macpherson

Thank you for your email of 8 March 2013 about mail services in the Dundee West area.

Royal Mail is implementing a fundamental change in the way we work across our delivery operations.  This is part of our rolling programme of modernisation which is being introduced in delivery offices across the UK. This is in order to accommodate the changing traffic mix – more parcels and fewer letters.  We need to modernise in order to maintain the universal service, not changing will put this at risk and we are committed to ensuring we can continue to deliver to 29 million addresses in the UK, 6 days a week, at a universal postage rate. 

We have begun to introduce a number of operational changes in the Dundee West area and these changes involve new ways of working.  This is predominately that our postmen and women are starting to make their deliveries with light weight trolleys from a small van instead of carrying a traditional bag on their shoulder.  This reflects the significant increase in the number of parcel; deliveries that we are now making and equips us with the continued growth in e-retailing going forward.  The first changes began in rural areas week commencing 4 March 2013, followed by the DD3 area.  Changes in the DD2 area begin week commencing 25th March 2013.  We are not making any changes in the DD1 area.

As part of these changes and to improve our customer experience our delivery times have increased which means people will spend more time delivering mail.  In addition twelve of our officers have changed their hours from part time to full time.  We have also invested in an additional 16 vehicles and a large number of Postal Digital Assistants (PDA) to help with deliveries.  Lightweight trolleys have also been introduced which will help prevent our people carrying heavy bags.

Deliveries to firms in the DD2 and DD3 areas remain unchanged and business customers will not notice any changes.  Some residential customers may get mail at a different time either earlier or later depending on where they are on route

We appreciate any changes may impact on our customers and our planning activities always give careful consideration as to how we can best protect and serve their interest.  It is vital that we are able to invest in new technology and equipment and upgrade operational facilities.  This helps to ensure that we have world class facilities which provide the most efficient and effective network for delivering the post.  Careful planning is made to ensure that customers – both business and residential – continue to receive the best possible service from Royal Mail.  

I have spoken to Ms Sarah Ward who is in charge of the delivery changes in Dundee West.  She reports that the changes so far have been implemented smoothly and without any difficulties being experienced.  I hope this will reassure you.  

Many thanks for contacting Royal Mail.  Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any further questions.  

Yours sincerely

Felicity MacFarlane
External Relations Manager (North) 
Royal Mail 

I am pleased that Royal Mail has given assurances about no adverse effect on mail deliveries but I would urge any constituent with any concerns about their mail deliveries to get in touch.