Royal Mail moves to allay collection fears
THE Post Office has responded to concerns over changes to letter collections in the village.
Residents raised fears about changes to the timings of collections from Sutton’s postboxes.
Post box plaques were changed to say collections will be made ‘after 9am’ but give no further details.
They used to have collections until just after 4.30pm at the Church House and 5pm at Hall Lane.
Villagers complained they had no idea when the collections would be and that they had not been consulted about the proposals.
Coun Hilda Gaddum took up the issue for residents and the Express contacted Royal Mail.
Now Royal Mail has responded to say postmen and women will collect letters as part of their deliveries and the changes are necessary to reflect the reduction in the number of letters being sent.
Coun Gaddum said: “Residents were concerned because the collection times have changed and it means people can’t guarantee when they will be.
“People weren’t happy because there was no consultation about the changes and no announcement when it happened, and there are a lot of businesses and people who work from home.
“I appreciate that there is less post now but there’s no coming back from a loss of confidence that people’s post will not get away that day.
“I’m now pleased to see that there is a 6pm collection from the box opposite the post office. It does mean some people will have to travel further for a late collection.”
Royal Mail spokesman Val Bodden said the changes are part of a nationwide scheme to make changes to collection times of some postboxes due to a significant decline in the number of letters being posted, which means that many postboxes no longer cover costs.
She said: “We would like to reassure all our customers in the Sutton area that we will retain a high level of access to late collection posting facilities (4pm or later).
“The changes mean that the mail collection from certain postboxes will be carried out by the local postman or woman on their delivery route, at a time dependent on where the box is located on that route.
“This will typically be between 9am and 3pm in urban and suburban areas.
“The indicator tab on the postbox will show if the collection has been made.
“Clear sign-posting is being provided for customers on the relevant postboxes, indicating where their nearest late posting box is.
“Existing postboxes further than half a mile from a late posting facility are not included as part of these changes.
“A significant decline in letter volumes means that many postboxes no longer cover their costs.
“Instead of taking the step to decommission uneconomic postboxes, Royal Mail has introduced changes to its collections arrangements.”
‘Residents were concerned’
●● Councillor Hilda Gaddum has her eye on the collection times at the post box at Lane Ends, Hollin Lane