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Removal of the Royal Mail postal collection

Volume 638: debated on Thursday 22 March 2018

The petition of residents of Cottenham, South Cambridgeshire,

Declares that the residents and Parish Council of Cottenham in South Cambridgeshire are adversely affected by the removal of the Royal Mail postal collection box on the High Street; and further that the Department of Communities and Local Government should make representations to Royal Mail to re-instate a collection box in the vicinity to better support residents in such rural areas.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Royal Mail to support the earliest possible re-instatement of a collection box in the central section of Cottenham High Street, one of the longest in England.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Heidi Allen, Official Report, 27 February 2018; Vol. 636, c. 797.]


Observations from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Andrew Griffiths):

Royal Mail is an independent business regulated by Ofcom, the independent sector regulator. The Government do not play any role in Royal Mail’s day-to-day operations.

Under Ofcom’s regulatory framework, Royal Mail is required to provide post boxes within half a mile (805 meters) of at least 98% of households and business premises across the UK.

We are informed by Royal Mail that, following the relocation of the Post Office in Cottenham from 230 High Street to 145 High Street, the owner of the vacated property asked that the post box be removed as it is located on private property. If requested, Royal Mail will remove post boxes that are on private land.

Royal Mail informed us that it investigated the possibility of re-siting the post box at various locations along the High Street; however the narrow public footpaths or the presence of existing underground utilities at potential sites meant these locations failed its standard suitability checks. Royal Mail has therefore decided to re-site the post box outside the new Post Office premises.

With the relocation of the post box to the new Post Office site, there are five post boxes in the immediate vicinity of the site of the former Post Office, at distances ranging between 400 meters to 800 meters.