Royal Mail is plotting to axe Saturday letter deliveries and signed-for parcels in bid to modernise and push through cost savings
- The Royal Mail’s new UK boss is looking at changes as part of a six-month review
- It comes as postal service is looking to modernise and making big cost savings
- Decision to scrap Saturday letter deliveries would require a change to the law
Royal Mail is plotting to axe Saturday letter deliveries and signed-for parcels under a major shake-up of services.
Simon Thompson, the postal service’s new UK boss, is looking at the controversial changes as part of a six-month review.
The review is said to be reconsidering Royal Mail’s ‘whole product offering’ and comes as it seeks to modernise and push through big cost savings.
Royal Mail plans to axe Saturday letter deliveries and signed-for parcels under major shake-up
Any decision to scrap Saturday letter deliveries and signed-for parcels would need changes to the law.
Royal Mail is currently required to deliver letters for a fixed price, six days per week, under a universal service obligation (USO).
But with letter volumes in decline, bosses argue this requirement is outdated and leaves Royal Mail at a disadvantage versus rivals such as DHL and Amazon.
Instead they want to focus efforts on the parcels industry, which has been turbocharged by online shopping during the pandemic.
Any plans to drop Saturday deliveries by Royal Mail would require changes to the law
Despite this, Royal Mail bosses are said to want to scrap tracked, signed-for parcels because they are expensive to deliver, with many customers happy for packages to be left in a safe place if they are not home, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Ofcom, the communications regulator, has already backed the proposal to scrap Saturday letter deliveries in principle.
It said consumer needs could still be met following the change, which could save Royal Mail between £125million and £225million.
Ofcom said the decision on changing the USO was ultimately up to MPs.
But the Communication Workers Union, which fears job cuts if services are trimmed, has previously said reducing letter deliveries would be ‘unforgivable’.