Flu and bad weather to blame for slow post

Hinckley Times - - NEWS - CLAIRE MILLER hinck­ley­times@reach­plc.com

IF you think your post ser­vice has got worse, then you may be right - with the Royal Mail ser­vice hit by staff short­ages and bad weather last year.

In the Le­ices­ter LE post­code, 89.9% of first class post ar­rived within a day in 2017/18, a drop from 92.3% in 2016/17.

Per­for­mance in the area was the worst seen for 10 years. The tar­get for in­di­vid­ual post­code ar­eas is for 91.5% of first class post to ar­rive on time.

In its an­nual re­port, the Royal Mail said it had been af­fected by the se­vere cold weather in Fe­bru­ary and March, an out­break of Aus­tralian flu in Jan­uary, and the in­crease in de­liv­er­ies dur­ing the pre-Christ­mas Cy­ber Week shop­ping sea­son.

Royal Mail has said that if per­for­mance was ad­justed to take into ac­count the ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances, ad­justed per­for­mance for the Le­ices­ter post­code would be 91%.

Over­all, Royal Mail missed its an­nual tar­get for first class mail, de­liv­er­ing 91.6% the next work­ing day, against a tar­get of 93.0%.

For sec­ond class mail, its over­all per­for­mance was only just within the mar­gin of er­ror for hit­ting the the 98.5% an­nual tar­get, at 98.4%.

Royal Mail said per­for­mance was sig­nif­i­cantly im­pacted by a num­ber of ex­cep­tional events, adding that it be­lieved that, if the 2017-18 per­for­mance was ad­justed for these fac­tors, it would have achieved our first class tar­get.

It said if the 2017-18 first class per­for­mance was ad­justed for these fac­tors, the 93% tar­get would have been achieved and the sec­ond class per­for­mance tar­get would have been ex­ceeded.

Reg­u­la­tor Of­com has launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion fol­low­ing the re­sults to de­ter­mine whether there are rea­son­able grounds for be­liev­ing that Royal Mail has failed to com­ply with its obli­ga­tions.

The Royal Mail pointed to a num­ber of ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances that im­pacted on per­for­mance, say­ing its ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Work­ers Union on pen­sions, pay and work­ing prac­tices had

led to very chal­leng­ing in­dus­trial re­la­tions, and po­ten­tial strike ac­tion with un­cer­tainty im­pact­ing on per­for­mance.

Se­vere win­ter weather in Fe­bru­ary and March re­sulted in air­port, rail and ma­jor road clo­sures with knock-on ef­fects on per­for­mance, while the out­break of Aus­tralian flu across the UK in Jan­uary saw a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of Royal Mail front­line staff go­ing sick dur­ing the month.

While the Christ­mas pe­riod is ex­empt from per­for­mance tar­gets, due to the high vol­umes of post, the Royal Mail pointed to the in­creas­ing sig­nif­i­cance of Cy­ber Week as part of the fes­tive re­tail cal­en­dar, with the whole week, Fri­day Novem­ber 24 to Sun­day De­cem­ber 3, 2017, fall- ing out­side the ex­emp­tion pe­riod this year.

Sue Whal­ley, Chief Op­er­a­tions Of­fi­cer, Royal Mail said: “We are dis­ap­pointed that we missed our an­nual reg­u­la­tory first class tar­get.

This was the re­sult of sev­eral ex­cep­tional events that took a heavy toll on our per­for­mance dur­ing the year.

“Royal Mail has one of the high­est Qual­ity of Ser­vice spec­i­fi­ca­tions of any ma­jor Euro­pean coun­try and our post­men and women work ex­tremely hard to de­liver de­mand­ing tar­gets.

“As we con­tinue to work to in­crease ef­fi­ciency in the busi­ness, we are com­mit­ted to de­liv­er­ing high stan­dards of ser­vice to all our cus­tomers across the UK.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.