Hubs should ease pressure in run-up to Christmas

European workers including nurses, social workers and teaching assistants protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London before lobbying MPs over their right to remain in the UK.  Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

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With just over five weeks to go until Christmas, the organised amongst us will already be buying presents and parcelling them up ready to send to loved ones we won’t be seeing over the festive period.

It’s getting to that time of year when pressure on our mail system increases hugely as millions of people turn to the postal service to deliver gifts and cards.

So the controversy over the new Royal Mail Voyager Park facility, which has replaced the Slindon Street and Northern Road collection points in Portsmouth that closed last month, could hardly be timed any worse.

People have complained angrily about long queues stretching outside in the cold, no provision of disability access, the lack of a proper bus to get there and poor customer service.

As Christmas comes closer, the situation would only have got worse. So we are pleased that Tory council leader Councillor Donna Jones, who calls the present arrangement for parcel collection ‘wholly inadequate’, has tackled the issue.

We report today how she has unveiled an action plan that involves using the Civic Offices and potentially other public buildings as temporary Royal Mail collection hubs.

Cllr Jones has promised to work with mail officials to get pop up-collection centres set up in the run-up to Christmas. Then she will turn her attentions to making Voyager Park, created as part of efforts to modernise the mail operation, better in the long term.

Something had to be done before the temperature drops further and parcel post increases dramatically.

We just hope setting up hubs in the city will ease pressure on Voyager Park and prevent long queues of angry customers.