Royal Mail apologises for postal delays after some residents left 'waiting weeks' for mail

People living in an Oxfordshire town say they are having to wait weeks and sometimes even months for their post to arrive. 

Some residents living in Didcot, have even reported missing hospital appointments because their letters didn't get to them on time.

The MP for Wantage, David Johnston revealed he had received 'many' complaints from his constituents, and that the situation has become so severe, he will be chairing a meeting next month which will allow people to quiz Royal Mail management on the reasons behind the delays.

Royal Mail has admitted experiencing 'some delays', blaming the problem on staff absence, Covid related self-isolation and resourcing.

Simon Barton received a hospital appointment letter the day after his actual appointment.

He said it's become extremely frustrating: "This problem has been going on for quite a long time now.

"Sometimes you get a big bundle of mail come through, then you don't get anything for weeks.

"We have a small family run business, and we rely on deliveries. You just can't predict when stuff is going to arrive, it's an absolute nightmare.

Simon Barton

Residents will be given the opportunity to put their concerns and questions directly to representatives from Royal Mail HQ, local delivery offices and representatives from the Communication Workers Union.

The meeting has been organised by the MP for Wantage David Johnston.

He said: "I've said throughout this period that our postmen and women have been working very hard, but something clearly isn't right in the management of Royal Mail when my constituents pay more and more for a service they don't receive.

"The meeting I will chair next month will let local residents put the problems they've been having directly to Royal Mail so they can get to the bottom of why they've been experiencing problems.

David Johnston, MP for Wantage

He added, "I have constituents who have not had their insurance renewals, meaning they have ended up having to pay more for their insurance. One did not get his bank card, so he could not pay for anything when he was out and about, and had to go online each time he made a payment.

"Constituents have complained that they have not received mail for one, two or three weeks, and they sometimes go to the sorting office and are handed that mail. One recent complainant has still not had her Christmas post.

"I want to be crystal clear at the outset that I do not think that the problems I will describe are the fault of Royal Mail's workers.

"I live in the Didcot area and I have experienced some of these problems, although not nearly as badly as some of my constituents have. I have also seen how hard Royal Mail staff have all been working in my area and right across the constituency.

"Indeed, when my constituents complain to me, they often say the same thing.

"They do not blame Royal Mail's workers, and they have huge admiration for them."

Residents have reported having to wait weeks or even months for their post

In a statement, a Royal Mail spokesperson 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, Covid related self-isolation and resourcing issues.

"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.

"Anyone who has concerns over the delivery of their mail should contact the Royal Mail customer service team on 03457 740 740 or via the Royal Mail website”