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What is happening to our post deliveries?

Further to your article about the proposed relocation of the Royal Mail Office from Eddington Lane to Canterbury (Delivery Office set to close in two years, Herne Bay Gazette, December 2) I am writing to ask what on earth is happening to the present mail delivery service in this area?

In our part of Herne Bay (Beltinge) we have had no postal deliveries whatsoever at our house for the past 10 days. This is despite the fact that we are awaiting delivery of letters and parcels that we know were posted to us some first class-up to two weeks ago.

Many of our neighbours are complaining about the same problem. Within recent memory our post at Beltinge used to be delivered between 7.30 and 8am. When the delivery service was reorganised a few years ago it started to arrive between about 11am and noon.

I wrote to the Head Postmaster at Canterbury to find out what was happening and, some two months later, I received a response from someone in Glasgow telling me that this change in delivery times (and reductions in collections too) was just a trial to see how things worked out!

During the past year deliveries have become later and later and our post at Beltinge now generally arrives alter midday and often alter 2pm. Since our regular postman left a few months ago, the position has deteriorated and several different postmen have been delivering letters to our house as late as 2.40pm.

Add to this the fact that the delivery of parcels and packages, even those sent first class, now takes place long alter they have been posted to us (on one occasion, a couple of months ago, several packages of ink cartridges that were all posted at the same time were delivered as much as 10 days apart!) and the full extent of the problem can be seen.

During the past two weeks, although I have received no post myself, I have taken in two parcels intended for neighbours and have taken the opportunity of speaking to the Royal Mail delivery men about the problem.

It appears that the postmen are tearing their hair out about the recent reorganisations that have taken place and the fact that they are not consulted about changes or listened to when they raise their reservations. I gather that they consider their management to be too remote and only interested in profits rather than the service provided to their customers.

I understand that there is a massive backlog of both letters and parcels awaiting delivery at Eddington Lane sorting office and that our unhappy postmen who, let’s face it, bear the brunt of the public’s complaints, feel they may be unable to cope with the workload during the period leading up to Christmas. This is surely an unacceptable situation in a dreadful public service for which we pay so much. It must be a nightmare for people running a business from home.

Could somebody in authority at the Royal Mail please use the medium of your newspaper to explain to the public of Herne Bay what is happening and particularly tell those of us living at Beltinge why we have received no post at all for such a long time?

Dan Woollett
Herne Bay Gazette, 9th Dec 2010

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