'Shambles' of Royal Mail post deliveries in Banbury continues - residents wait 'weeks' for important mail

The ‘shambles’ of Royal Mail letter deliveries in Banbury continues - residents report waiting weeks for important mail in spite of claims more staff are being recruited.
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One resident was waiting for Covid-19 tests to be delivered urgently for her vulnerable, elderly husband. A message said Royal Mail had received the package, a second message said they had tried to deliver but there was no one in.

“They are fibbers - we were in all day and Covid testing kits go through the letter box. No signature is needed,” she said.

"I am also waiting for two parcels. One is tracked for delivery October 21 but tracking says it’s still in Swindon. The other posted 1st class two weeks ago in London has still not arrived.

Banbury Sorting Office where mail has mounted up because of staff shortagesBanbury Sorting Office where mail has mounted up because of staff shortages
Banbury Sorting Office where mail has mounted up because of staff shortages

"It appears I’ll receive a parcel from China, delivered by Evri, before the other parcels. I’m also waiting for an important form from my GP, posted last wee. Royal Mail is a joke now. Do we even risk sending Christmas cards this year?”

Royal Mail acknowledged delays but said they are not lasting weeks. “When a route is delayed, we will endeavour to prioritise it the following day, helping to ensure any delay is kept to a minimum,” a spokesman said.

“We are consistently working to bring our quality of service to levels our customers expect. Quality is our priority and this effort is reflected in Banbury and nationally.”

He said recruitment is underway through delivery offices. And Royal Mail aims to hire 16,000 seasonal workers to ensure a successful festive period.

"This joins the extra vehicles we’ll have in operation and additional sites handling extra demand,” he said.

“It is wrong to suggest we are ‘gearing the service up to favour parcels in a gig-economy style’. Royal Mail remains the industry leader on pay, terms and conditions.”

One contributor on Banbury Info said: “It’s funny how they’re short staffed - I see a post van delivering parcels 2-3 times every day. Odd how they can deliver parcels but not regular mail.”

Others have complained Royal Mail only cares about profits. One said: “Thats the whole ethos of the privatised Royal Mail. They see letters as irrelevant in their business plan and are prioritising parcels. The Government sold off our state-owned asset for a pittance.”

Another said: “They’ve been running it into the ground to feed the insatiable greed of shareholders and it became unfit for purpose.”

Many sympathised with hard-working posties doing their best under difficult circumstances. One said: "I feel for overstretched posties. Staff aren't staying as there’s too much pressure.”

Another said: "The old mail gets pushed back and left for new mail, that’s why we don’t get things until much later - if they have a lull and can do it.”

Two waited ten days for bus passes. A number said they had gone weeks without mail deliveries. Some have visited the sorting office saying staff have apologised but said there were insufficient staff. One described it as a ‘shambles’.

One man said Royal Mail’s decline was the same as other privatised services. “The decline in the quality is dressed up as efficiency and modernisation.”

Another said: "We’re lucky if we see post once every six weeks. We’ve missed important hospital appointments.”