Portsmouth MP calls for changes in mail delivery system

CONCERN Mike Hancock MP
CONCERN Mike Hancock MP
Mutiny Festival brought over �2m to the local economy Picture: Paul Windsor

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PORTSMOUTH South MP Mike Hancock is urging Royal Mail managers to sort out issues with the city’s parcel delivery system.

Mr Hancock says Royal Mail needs to take on more staff at its delivery office in Slindon Street, Landport, to accommodate the increase in people collecting goods bought online.

SLOW GOING The queue at the Slindon Street collections office. Inset, a poster put up at the post office. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs  (123350-5)

SLOW GOING The queue at the Slindon Street collections office. Inset, a poster put up at the post office. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (123350-5)

And the MP is concerned that there will be further delays in residents getting their mail if the firm makes its delivery workers use vans instead of bicycles.

As previously reported in The News, customers have been waiting for up to 90 minutes for their packages in queues stretching outside the Portsmouth delivery office in recent weeks.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents mail employees, blames a rise in internet shopping for the delays and says the change in transport is part of Royal Mail’s plans to modernise.

Mr Hancock said: ‘Portsmouth is a very congested city. While using vans may be beneficial in other parts of the country we will suffer.

‘We’ll end up hearing of incidents where delivery workers are fined for parking in areas of the city they shouldn’t. Royal Mail should be glad that there has been a rise in internet shopping.

‘It should be seeing that there is extra revenue to be made and employ extra staff to keep up with demand.

‘We are seeing shops all over Portsmouth closing because the internet is affecting them – but here you have a business that is benefiting from it.

‘It shouldn’t just sit and do nothing. I see the queues outside the delivery office every day.’

The message comes after union members complained they were not invited to an emergency meeting between managers and employees at the delivery office on Monday about the problems.

Ruth Harris, CWU branch secretary, said she was worried a resolution wouldn’t be found soon.

‘There has been no formal contact between Royal Mail and the union as of yet. It’s frustrating because the service is still letting people queue outside.

‘I am very concerned about how long this will go on for. The issues in Portsmouth are ongoing.

‘With the increase in packets it’s getting worse and worse.

‘Portsmouth is unique in that it is one of the most densely populated cities in the UK.

‘Using vans to deliver mail wouldn’t solve some of the problems.