Council unveils plan for pop-up Portsmouth Royal Mail collection hubs in time for Christmas

The Royal Mail's new Voyager Park facility
The Royal Mail's new Voyager Park facility
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AN action plan has been unveiled to end Portsmouth’s escalating mail troubles in the hope that thousands of families will not have their Christmas ruined.

Tory council leader Councillor Donna Jones wants to use the Civic Offices and potentially other public buildings as temporary Royal Mail collection hubs for frustrated customers as the firm comes under fire for making changes to its parcel delivery operations.

The current arrangements for the collection of parcels post the closure of Slindon Street for the people of this city are wholly inadequate. We are approaching the busiest time of the year, Christmas, when Royal Mail is stretched the most.

Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council

Cllr Jones said the service at Royal Mail’s new Voyager Park facility – ranging from long queues stretching outside in the cold to no disability access and the lack of a proper bus to get there – are ‘wholly inadequate’ and must be resolved.

She has promised to work with mail officials to get pop up-collection centres set up in the run-up to Christmas before turning attentions to making Voyager Park – created as part of efforts to modernise the mail operation – better.

The leader’s pledge came after Ukip and Labour brought forward a plea for the council to pressure Royal Mail into making changes.

Cllr Jones said: ‘The current arrangements for the collection of parcels post the closure of Slindon Street for the people of this city are wholly inadequate. We are approaching the busiest time of the year, Christmas, when Royal Mail is stretched the most.

‘This current arrangement cannot continue. I pledge here and now to find public buildings to assist in the collection of parcels. We will not sit back whilst thousands of people across the city suffer, spending up to an hour in some circumstances exposed outside with inadequate waiting areas.’

Labour leader Cllr Stephen Morgan, who brought the issue to the council with Ukip councillor Alicia Denny, said: ‘These are practical ideas and suggestions which aim to mitigate the closure of the collection centre in the centre of the city.’

Royal Mail closed its Slindon Street and Northern Road collection points last month. The changes have been met with fury by customers.

Commenting on The News’ Facebook page, Sarah Patterson​ said: ‘Customer service is not great.

‘Waited for my parcel, the server gave me two wrong parcels both with different addresses and one with a different name.’