Royal Mail customers face fresh setback as plans are unveiled to close city centre delivery branch

ROYAL Mail's Portsmouth delivery offices are to close and make way for a new super mail hub.

Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 6:05 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 7:56 pm
The Slindon Street Royal Mail collection office in Portsmouth

But union officials fear it will cause fresh problems for customers.

The company’s collection centres at Slindon Street in the city centre and in Northern Road, Cosham, are to move to one building at Voyager Park, an industrial estate in Copnor.

From Monday, October 24, anyone who is not home when their mail is delivered will either have to go to the new premises to pick it up or arrange for a re-delivery.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Mail bosses say the move is part of the ‘ongoing transformation and modernisation’ of the mail processing and delivery operations across the UK.

But Ruth Harris, branch secretary for the Communication Workers’ Union, which represents mail workers, said it could lead to more inconvenience.

Ms Harris said: ‘The staff are being compensated for the extra travel.

‘But what’s more of a concern is the impact on customers.

‘Anyone who gets a note to pick up a parcel will have to go to that site, which is quite remote.

‘And for people living in the south of the city, that’s a massive journey to do. However, there is the option of a re-delivery.

‘We have to appreciate there will be fewer delivery offices as we move forward with modernisation, and we have worked closely with Royal Mail to try and bring about this change as smoothly as possible.’

Royal Mail faced criticism last week after Slindon Street customers were turned away after being told there was no trace of their parcels – which the firm blamed on ‘recent changes in distribution and sortation processes’.

The ‘customer service points’ will remain at Cosham and the Slindon Street delivery offices until October 24.

Both premises will be shut after that date, and it is not known what their future use will be.

Royal Mail delivery director Estelle Baillie said: ‘Our service to customers will continue to be a top priority.

‘They can be reassured that we will do all we can to minimise disruption and ensure we maintain the high level of service that they expect and deserve from Royal Mail.’

Royal Mail insists there will be no impact on deliveries and no job losses.