I am fully aware that there have been ongoing issues with the Royal Mail sorting centre in Chelmsford, which has been affecting numerous postcodes in the surrounding area, including my constituency. This has led to many of my constituents having delayed or missing deliveries. I completely understand the frustration of my constituents, especially given the importance of receiving your promptly at this time of year.
Since these issues with the Royal Mail began, I have been taking action to try resolve this as soon as possible for my constituents. This has included initially writing to Senior Managers at Royal Mail, and I have continued to be in regular contact with Royal Mail throughout. I have also been liaising with my colleague, the Member of Parliament for Chelmsford, Vicky Ford and her team, on how we can resolve this for our constituents collectively. My first update on this issue can be found here.
Royal Mail informed me that staff sickness, as a result of Covid-19, had coincided with changing the delivery routes from their Chelmsford sorting centre. This decision was taken to reflect the changing nature of post, with a shift from letters to parcels.
Unfortunately, the timing of this has been unfortunate and contributed to the significant backlog of post that has affected many residents. The current state of the situation is that there are about 72,000 items of mail in the delivery office, of which approximately 40,000 are the normal items that arrive each day during this festive period. Royal Mail have outlined that the vast majority of parcels currently in the backlog are spending between 1-4 days in the office, and for letters 1-3 days.
Royal Mail have assured me that they are working hard to return deliveries back to 6 days a week as soon as possible. To work towards this, they have informed me that they are enlisting the support of extra staff to help clear the backlog.
With the extra staff they have enlisted, they are aiming to clear about 10,000 items of backlog each day while simultaneously keeping on top of the current normal levels of daily post. There is a particular emphasis on clearing most of the backlog over the next week. I was pleased to hear this, especially with Christmas fast approaching. I have also been advised that if you would like to apply for compensation for lost items or delays, please do contact Royal Mail using this online form– They say these will be looked at on a case-by-case basis.