Royal Mail’s future is in doubt after postal service failed to hit delivery targets in EVERY British postcode and lost key contracts to rivals because of strikes
The future of the Royal Mail has been cast into doubt after new figures showed that it is failing to meet delivery targets for any postcode in Britain.
Industry experts believe the company – which was partially privatised in 2013 before being sold off completely two years later – is due a reckoning as it faces stiff competition from other firms.
A source told The Times that the service faced a ‘make or break’ judgement in the next three months after losing a tenth of its business to rivals because of strikes.
The source added that it ‘could be curtains’ for the mail carrier, which delivered a £750million loss last year, ‘if they don’t start winning back big contracts’.
Official figures published by the postal service showed that posties were failing to hit a target of delivering 93 per cent of first class post within one day of collection across the country.
Nationwide around 75 per cent of first class letters and parcels are delivered on time – and the figure plummets to as low as 57.5 per cent in the BR postcode area, covering Bromley and its surrounding communities.
Rural deliveries to areas such as the Scottish Highlands and islands are not included in the overall target – but the ZE postcode, for the Orkney Islands, saw just 35.5 per cent of first class post arrive on time.
Around 94 per cent of second class post is delivered within three days – short of a 98.5 per cent target – and almost one in 10 delivery routes aren’t even fully completed each day. In some areas, letters aren’t being delivered for two weeks.
The failure to deliver post on time is having a knock-on effect on other public services – including the NHS, which is having to deal with patients not being aware of appointments after letters failed to arrive in time.
Practices are reportedly mulling over piloting schemes to phone patients ahead of time to confirm they are aware of their appointments.
A health service hospital volunteer said: ‘There are loads of patients who miss appointments because of late letters. It’s a continuous occurrence.’
The Royal Mail is also on course to miss its delivery targets for the seventh year in a row, the data has revealed.
Targets for the Royal Mail are set by communications regulator Ofcom, which launched an investigation into the postal service earlier this year.
Royal Mail bosses said that recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic was hampering its ability to deliver mail – but as far back as last December has been warned off of using lockdown as an ongoing ‘excuse’.
Lindsey Fussell, of Ofcom, said at the time: ‘He company’s had plenty of time to learn lessons from the pandemic, and cannot continue to use it as an excuse.’
The regulator said it will decide whether or not to fine the mail carrier by Christmas this year. It previously issued a £1.5million fine to the service for delivery failures in 2019.