ALL post in St Helens will delivered by van under radical new plans announced by Royal Mail bosses.
From this week, postmen and women at the local Royal Mail delivery office will stop pounding the streets and, instead, get behind the wheel of delivery vans as new longer routes are phased in.
It will result in some residents receiving their letters, packets and parcels later in the day.
The changes, agreed nationally following a high-profile industrial dispute in 2009, will see some residents receive their mail at different times, depending on where they lie on the delivery route.
But trade union bosses, who had grown increasingly concerned about the weight of posties’ delivery bags, have welcomed the move - especially as no job losses are anticipated.
Dave Kennedy, North West branch secretary for the Communication Workers Union (CWU), said: “One of the issues we felt needed addressing was the weight on the shoulder of our postmen and women.
“With the increasing popularity of internet shopping, which is Royal Mail’s growth market, packets and parcels are getting bigger and heavier so moving into vans achieves one of our objectives.
“We don’t envisage any job losses so we are comfortable with these changes as they fall in line with the national resolution which was reached after the 2009 dispute.”
Locally, postmen and women will continue to deliver in the morning, but will continue for a longer period throughout the day.
Royal Mail chiefs insist many customers will continue to receive their mail by lunch time but concede that “the time customers receive mail will depend on where they live on the new delivery routes”.
Bosses say flexible delivery arrangements could also vary in line with mail volumes, but say they will be “doing everything possible to maintain a high level of service”.
Allan Henshall, Royal Mail’s collections and delivery sector manager, said: “We are proud of the high regard in which our postmen and women are held in St Helens. The changes to delivery routes will mean that a member of our local and experienced team will still be delivering to our customers.”
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