The humble petition of the residents of Irchester, Northamptonshire, and the surrounding areas,
Sheweth, that the petitioners believe that, to improve the accessibility of postal services, the village of Irchester would be better served if a post box was installed in the centre of the village,
Wherefore your petitioners pray that your honourable House urges the Government to work with Royal Mail to consider whether the needs of the village of Irchester could be better met with a new centrally located post box.
And your petitioners, as duty bound, will ever pray, &c.—[Presented by Mr Peter Bone, Official Report, 4 July 2023; Vol. 735, c. 6P.]
Observations from The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business and Trade (Kevin Hollinrake):
It is important that people and businesses can access postal services and can send and receive letters and parcels regularly. That is why the Government are committed to ensuring the provision of a sustainable, efficient, accessible, and affordable universal postal service in the United Kingdom.
Royal Mail is a fully independent private business, and the Government do not have a role in the day-to-day operational matters of the company, including the location of specific post boxes.
However, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), as the independent regulator for the postal sector, requires Royal Mail to ensure there is a post box within half a mile of the premises of at least 98% of users of postal services. Royal Mail is also required to report annually to Ofcom the number of customer complaints received about the provision and/or location of post boxes.
Ofcom carried out a review of the future regulatory framework for post and published its conclusions in November 2022. As part of this review, Ofcom considered its approach to regulating the universal postal service and sought views on the accessibility of the service, particularly for vulnerable people and those who may be more reliant on postal services. Ofcom reported that its requirements for geographic distribution of universal service access points, such as post boxes, help to ensure that users can post letters and parcels near where they live and work. For rural users, it reported that Royal Mail should also promote alternative options, including handing stamped letterbox opening sized items to their postal worker on delivery of their mail or Royal Mail's new Parcel Collect service. More information about the regulatory regime can be found on Ofcom's website www.ofcom.org.uk
The residents of Irchester, Northamptonshire, and the surrounding areas, may wish to submit a request to Royal Mail to consider the petitioners' views that a post box in Irchester village would improve their accessibility to postal services. Royal Mail’s customer services team can be contacted by filling out a form online at: personal.help.royalmail.com/app/contact, by phone (03457 740 740) or by writing to Freepost, Royal Mail Customer Services.