The Royal Mail has revealed that there are 28 delivery ‘black spots’ across the UK suffering from limited postal services as more of its workforce is affected by Covid-19.
Thousands of people living in the areas, which cover large sections of London, the South East and Leeds, are receiving only limited deliveries.
With some affected residents complaining that they have not received mail for more than a month, fears have also arisen that elderly residents will not receive notifications of the availability of a coronavirus vaccine.
Some 130,000 letters have already been sent to people aged 80 and over and another 500,000 are expected to be sent this week.
The Royal Mail has revealed that there are 28 delivery ‘black spots’ in the UK suffering from limited postal services as more of its workforce is affected by Covid-19
Thousands of people living in the areas, which span large sections of London, the South East and Leeds, receive only limited deliveries
Valerie Wallbank, a resident of Hainaut, told the Ilford Recorder that she had not received any mail since December 12.
It is understood that as Christmas approached, up to 40 percent of the region’s postal workforce was sick or self-isolating.
“It’s pretty serious,” she told the newspaper.
“Some people don’t mind doing everything online, but for some of us it’s pretty important.
With some affected residents complaining that they have not received mail for over a month, fears have also arisen that elderly residents will not receive notifications when a coronavirus vaccine is available to them.
The issue has sparked calls, including from MPs and the Communications Workers Union (CWU), for postal workers to be added to the priority list of people vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Full list of areas affected by Royal Mail
Barnsley (S70, S71, S72 et S75)
Bury St Edmunds (IP28-IP33)
Horsham (RH12, RH13)
Leeds City (LS1-LS5)
Magherafelt (BT45, BT46)
South Ockendon (RM15)
South Woodford (E18)
Upper Holloway (N7)
In a statement published with the list on its website, Royal Mail said it “works hard to provide the most comprehensive and highest quality service possible to all of our customers”.
“The combination of significantly increased use of online shopping and the current restrictions of Covid-19 means that all delivery companies are experiencing exceptionally high volumes,” the statement said.
“Despite our best efforts and a significant investment in additional resources, some customers may experience slightly longer delivery times than our usual service standards.
“This is due to the exceptionally high volumes we are seeing, exacerbated by the coronavirus-related measures we have put in place at mail centers and local delivery offices to keep our employees and customers safe. In such cases, we are always working hard to get back to providing our usual level of service as quickly as possible.
Ilford MP Wes Streeting said it was understandable that Royal Mail was affected by the virus, but that the problems were having ‘serious repercussions for people receiving important correspondence from the NHS, both on their vaccination and other routine appointments ”.
‘I’ve been told locally that Royal Mail is prioritizing parcel delivery to reduce the backlog, but I’m wondering if there is a way to have NHS correspondence clearly labeled as such and prioritized for delivery Mr. Streeting told the Daily Telegraph. . “No one wants to see a situation where people miss their immunization appointments. “
On its website, Royal Mail is advising people in areas who have left a ‘Something for You’ card with the service to check its website for revised opening times to find out when they can pick up the item.
“If we haven’t left a ‘Something for You’ card and you haven’t made other arrangements, we’re sorry your mail isn’t available for collection,” the board says.
The Health Department said it was working with the Royal Mail to ensure vaccination invitation letters reach the public, “but patients should also receive a phone call, email or text message inviting them to a meeting ”.