Shake-up in the local mail service

Royal Mail is making some changes to the way it delivers the post in Lewes over the next few weeks.

Postmen and women will use new delivery methods and adopt revised delivery routes as these changes are introduced on a phased basis.

Royal Mail is writing to every address in the town about these changes and this includes households, businesses and other organisations.

They are being introduced to modernise the way the service operates, maintain its efficiency and keep prices as low as possible.

But the scheme has already led to concerns that the service will be less efficient.

The implication is that instead of having mail delivered in the morning, customers in the BN7 and BN8 postcode areas – which includes Ringmer and Chailey, a population of some 37,000 – will now get their post throughout the day.

It has led to fears that some residents and businesses could have their first class post delivered as late as 3pm.

When similar changes were made to the routes in Brighton postal services were reported to have become chaotic, with a backlog of parcels stacked-up in the North Road sorting office as staff struggled to complete deliveries.

Royal Mail’s Collection and Delivery Sector Manager Irene Scott said: “We are proud of the high regard in which our postmen and women are held in Lewes. The changes to delivery routes will mean that a member of our local and experienced team will still be delivering to our customers in the town. The local delivery team and I are fully committed to providing a high quality of service that is as reliable and friendly as customers have come to expect in Lewes over many years.”

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “The way in which we communicate with each other has changed dramatically.

“Unfortunately, fewer letters are now posted every day and Royal Mail needs to organise its delivery routes to be as efficient as possible. We also deliver more larger items and so we are investing in new equipment to carry these items to customers even more securely. The new equipment also reduces the risk of injury to staff from carrying heavier mail bags.”

Royal Mail said it will continue to deliver in the morning and for a longer period during the day. Many customers will continue to get their mail by lunchtime. The time customers receive mail will depend on where they live on the new delivery route. This may be later or possibly earlier than current delivery times.

When post volumes vary, Royal Mail may need to adjust delivery arrangements and times.