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Royal Mail (Isle of Mull)

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 22 November 2007

10. What assessment he has made of the performance of Royal Mail against national standards for mail delivery, with particular reference to the service on the Isle of Mull; and if he will make a statement. (166791)

The responsibility for ensuring that Royal Mail meets its quality of service standards rests with Postcomm, the postal services regulator. I understand from Postcomm that on the Isle of Mull, which is part of the PA postcode district, Royal Mail is required to meet the standard of 91.5 per cent. of first class mail delivered the next day, and that that standard is being met across that postcode district.

But just last month, Royal Mail stopped sending the mail to Mull on the first ferry of the day. That means that it is being delivered to customers throughout the island two hours later than it has been for many years. The daily newspapers are also affected, meaning that they do not arrive in the shops until about midday. Will the Government, as the owners of Royal Mail, investigate this and demand that Royal Mail give to people on Mull the same service that until last month they had enjoyed for many years?

I am afraid that the issue to which the hon. Gentleman refers is not so much to do with postal services as with European legislation on transport. The reason why this is happening is that new legislation requires that all vehicles weighing more than 7.5 tonnes, including those operated by Royal Mail, must travel at no more than 56 mph. That is the cause. It is not so much to do with Royal Mail as with the speed limits on the trucks that carry the mail.