1. ITV Report

South London 'postal chaos' as Royal Mail closes a major depot

People living in south London say they've faced months of postal problems after Royal Mail closed a major depot in the run up to Christmas.

Campaigners in the Silvester Road area of Dulwich say deliveries haven't arrived and there have been long queues to collect parcels at offices. Royal Mail says any delays are simply because it's the busiest time of year.

There were some problems with this site, it was too small for the volume of work that was being done here and that wasn't very good for staff.

But we complained vociferously to Royal Mail at the time that closing this delivery office and simply moving the work to Peckham which is a pretty long distance for residents to travel.

What we wanted was for Royal Mail to open up another facility in this area - there are plenty of small industrial estates.

It's frustrating Royal Mail were warned about the problems that would come from moving SE22 up to Peckham and all those difficulties have come to pass and caused great difficulty for residents.

– Helen Hayes, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood

The delivery office served 10,000 households in East Dulwich all of them now have to travel to Peckham to pick up their post. Some residents tell ITV News they are getting just a couple of deliveries a week if they're lucky.

On a good week I might get post once. Maybe twice. I've had post as late as 7pm on a Saturday. And I've taken parcels in for neighbours because otherwise they have to queue for a couple of hours.

People haven't got time these days to go and queue for hours. There's a lot of discontent about it. Although we were allegedly asked out opinion we know it was a decision that had already been made.

– Olga Noble, East Dulwich resident

Royal Mail says it's important the business evolves to keep up with the demands of modern life.

With Royal Mail our business is changing. What we're seeing is that our business is changing. From being a letters company we're now getting more and more parcels as people go online we're the ones who deliver parcels.

So some of our facilities need to change in order to be geared towards parcel delivery. In that case some places are just not fit for purpose - not enough space, not enough storage.

There are some areas of operational reality that we need to make these changes. Customers have the option of asking for re-delivery to their address or another address in the same area or leaving it with a neighbour or a special safe place.

– Mark Street, Royal Mail

Time's running out if you've got presents and cards still to post for Christmas. Here are the latest recommended posting dates.

  • Tuesday 18 December

2nd Class and Royal Mail Signed For 2nd Class

  • Thursday 20 December

1st Class, Royal Mail Signed For 1st Class and Royal Mail Tracked 48

  • Friday 21 December

Royal Mail Tracked 24

  • Saturday 22 December

Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed