Conservative Parlimentary candidate Andrew Griffiths, has criticised a Royal Mail plan to charge large postal customers higher prices for delivering bulk mail in rural areas.
A number of postcode sectors in Uttoxeter are in the area the Royal Mail considers the most rural, and will attract the biggest surcharges.
Under the proposal from the Royal Mail prices are set to increase by over 10.2% for bulk mail deliveries in rural areas while prices in urban areas rise by only 3%. Postcomm, which has indicated it is opposed to the Royal mail plans will issue a consultation document in mid-August, for which there will be a two-month consultation.
Mr Griffiths said: “This could be another nail in the coffin of our postal service, and I strongly hope Postcomm will reject the plan outright. I am very worried about the consequences of these new proposals for Uttoxeter residents. If implemented, it will place further pressure on our local post offices at a time when we need to do everything we can to ensure they remain open. I will be writing to the Royal Mail, Postcomm and the new minister at Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform to express my opposition to these increased charges”
The rural surcharge proposals for large mailings raise damaging implications for rural postal services and rural communities:
– Mail volumes going to rural areas will decrease and the unit costs of deliveries will increase;
– This in turn will put pressure on Royal Mail to reduce services in rural areas in the future;
– Rural post offices involved with mail delivery will see a declining volume of mail handled placing them in even greater jeopardy and;
Significant additional costs will be placed on rural business and organisations.
Andrew added: “I have been campaigning against the proposed closures of our local Post Offices, and it is essential for their survival that we do not see these price hikes. We cannot just sit and hope that this plan is rejected. Postcomm will be putting out a consultation in August, so I encourage anyone concerned to write to Postcomm, at Hercules House, 6 Hercules Road, London SE1 7DB to oppose the plans.