South Manchester residents furious at post delays only just getting Christmas cards and gifts

Residents in South Manchester are furious at weeks of delayed post - leading to missed health and work appointments.

The festive season may have been and gone, but large areas of Old Trafford and Stretford are only just getting their Christmas cards and are missing important letters.

Some postcodes haven't had any post for just over a month and their area's MPs are demanding answers, saying 'it's just not good enough'.

The sorting office that serves this area, Norton Street in Old Trafford blames staff shortages, but there have been repeated calls for more to be done to cover absent staff.

While some have been missing Christmas cards and presents, residents like Michelle Reid have been left missing appointments after they received letters too late.

She told ITV News Granada she was in pain after she didn't receive confirmation of her dental appointment despite waiting for a year.

Resident Michelle Reid say she has been left in pain after her appointment letter for the dentists didn't arrive in time

One resident said he had sent off for his driving licence after receiving a speeding ticket but that did not arrive.

He has now been given a fine of £240 for failing to process the original speeding ticket.  

Kate Green, MP for Stretford and Urmston said she contacted Royal Mail senior management in November about the issue and was told it was down to ‘high sickness and staff vacancy levels’.

According to the MP, absence rates at the Norton Street delivery office were at 22% in the last week.

Kate Green MP calls on the government to draw up labour market plan

Royal Mail also admit they have also had some difficulty recruiting additional temporary staff.

The MP said that wasn't good enough, more action was needed to ensure this vital service is protected.

“Shortly before Christmas, the office was handling significant additional volumes as, alongside the Christmas mail, there was a surge in the delivery of antiviral test kits and lateral flow tests as a result of government ramping up testing.

“However, the problems we have experienced locally began some weeks ago, so can't all be attributed to the latest Omicron variant of Covid."

Royal Mail say they are working hard to recruit more and get up to date with the mail in the affected areas. 

In a statement it said: “The vast majority of mail is delivered safely and on time.

"We aim to deliver to all addresses we have mail for, six days a week. In the local area, we are experiencing some delays to service due to high levels of sickness absence and Covid related self-isolation.

"We apologise to any customers who may have experienced delays to their mail.

"We have been working hard to get our levels of service back to normal as soon as possible and the situation is improving."

What can you do if your post is delayed?

  • According to Citizen Advice if you bought something online, over the phone or in a shop:

  • You should try to contact the seller before you ask Royal Mail for compensation.

  • If Royal Mail has lost a document like a passport or driving licence

  • Ask the organisation to cancel the document. This stops anyone from using it to pretend to be you.