Royal Mail responds to claims Liverpool residents going ‘weeks’ without post as parcels prioritised

‘People have missed crucial hospital appointments, not been able to receive essential documents such as bank cards, important bills, and faced DVLA issues.’
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Royal Mail have told LiverpoolWorld they are ‘committed to restoring the quality of their service’ in Liverpool amid claims from residents they are not receiving letters for weeks at a time.

People across the city, and in particular the Wavertree and Mossley Hill area, say they are being told to pick up their post from the local sorting offices and that parcel deliveries are being prioritised over letters.

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Paula Barker, MP for Liverpool Wavertree told LiverpoolWorld that she has been ‘inundated’ with concerns from residents about the ‘prolonged absence of mail delivery’.

“As a result, people have missed crucial hospital appointments, not been able to receive essential documents such as bank cards, important bills, and faced DVLA issues, amongst other problems,” she explained.

The issue appears to be affecting the whole city, and parts of the wider city region, with local residents telling us that parts of Speke, St Helens, Childwall, Wirral and Aintree are also affected.

Ms Barker said Royal Mail informed her that the problems had occurred over the last few weeks due to staff sickness, however, she was dissatisfied with this response.

Royal Mail say they have experienced high levels of staff sickness. Photo: Adobe StockRoyal Mail say they have experienced high levels of staff sickness. Photo: Adobe Stock
Royal Mail say they have experienced high levels of staff sickness. Photo: Adobe Stock
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She continued: “I have since visited the Mossley Hill sorting office to see what the issues are first-hand and to speak with the Postal Delivery Workers. On my visit, it came to light that the prioritisation of parcels over letter deliveries was a major issue, which is completely unacceptable. On top of this there were also some staff members on annual leave and staff sickness.

“I have been assured by senior managers that they are taking steps to rectify the situation and that deliveries will return to normal by the end of this week. I am also aware of similar issues at the Wellington Road Sorting Office, and I will closely monitor the developments there.

“Finally, I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to the brilliant and hardworking Postal Delivery Workers and stress that they are absolutely not responsible for this situation. They are dedicated to delivering the mail and have been working extremely hard.”

Royal Mail sorting office in Mossley Hill. Photo: Google Street ViewRoyal Mail sorting office in Mossley Hill. Photo: Google Street View
Royal Mail sorting office in Mossley Hill. Photo: Google Street View

When contacted by LiverpoolWorld Royal Mail admitted delays occurred, such as when a route is not completed and is prioritised the following day, but said no routes or streets in Liverpool are experiencing delays of a number of weeks and all areas receive regular deliveries.

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However, in a statement they added: “We are committed to restoring our quality of service to our customers. We have plans in place and dedicated teams responsible for improving deliveries throughout Liverpool and at our delivery offices nationwide.”

LiverpoolWorld did ask whether parcels are being prioritised over letters, however, no response was given.

People across Liverpool have reported issues with receiving letters. Photo: Adobe StockPeople across Liverpool have reported issues with receiving letters. Photo: Adobe Stock
People across Liverpool have reported issues with receiving letters. Photo: Adobe Stock

Liverpudlians are certainly unhappy with their postal service and, alongside complaints to the local MP, a Wavertree resident started a Reddit thread titled ‘What’s happening with the post’. We were also contacted by residents. Reported issues include:

  • One Reddit user said ‘the only chance of getting your mail is going to the sorting office and asking for it directly’.
  • Others noted the Wellington Road Sorting Office is operating on reduced hours, as well as the Mossley Hill (Pitville Road) Sorting Office. Both are currently only open from 8.00am until 10.00am Monday to Friday and 8.00am until 12.00pm on Saturday, according to Royal Mail.
  • One Liverpool resident said they received ‘a load’ of letters this week, but prior to this they had not received any for two weeks.
  • Another said they have not had any post for over a week.
  • Another added: “Lucky if we get one delivery a week in St Helens.”
  • A Reddit user said a postal worker claimed ‘management are making them prioritise parcels’.

Royal Mail recruitment and staffing

In a statement, Royal Mail said: “Over the last 12 weeks we have recruited around 6,000 postmen and women and are continuing to recruit c.500 permanent positions a week in delivery. To support the health of our employees and assist them in their return to work, we have introduced a wellbeing programme which provides colleagues with free, confidential, and independent healthcare support, including unlimited 24/7 access to an online GP.

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“In the lead up to Christmas, we are taking on 16,000 temporary workers, more vehicles and additional parcel sorting sites to handle double the normal volume of parcels we expect over the period. These actions plus others are already making a difference in some areas and we are confident that they will continue to improve quality of service for our customers.”

Issues across the country

The postal service issue is not exclusive to Merseyside, with other news outlets such asThis Is Moneyreporting issues across England. The BBC also noted problems in a town near Norwich.