Royal Mail expecting delivery delays around London Olympics
Thursday, May 17th, 2012
Royal Mail has warned that mail make take an extra day to be delivered in London areas this summer, during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The UK postal service said today that it will be implementing special plans for the capital during the Games, which run from 27 July to 9 September 2012.
But while it will be starting deliveries earlier in the morning to counter some of the expected delays, it said some mail could be held in the system for delivery on the next working day in affected postcode areas.
Royal Mail’s Special Delivery service will see its guarantee apply to next day delivery, rather than 9am to 1pm in London during the Games.
The company also said during the Games, it will not be able to provide one-off ad hoc collections from businesses in London.
Homes and businesses in the E, EC, N, NW, SE, W and WC postcode areas of London are being advised to deposit their mail earlier in the day than usual, with the postal service writing to 2m addresses to provide information about the Games period.
A team of Olympic advisers is also being made available to help customers with concerns, as part of the Royal Mail Customer Service Team.
Royal Mail’s 116 delivery offices will remain open at the usual times during the Games, and its delivery services will continue their six-day-a-week schedule.
The postal service said it has been working closely with the London Olympic Games Organising Committee and regional transport authority Transport for London since June 2011 to ensure it has sufficient access to be able to deliver, collect, sort and transport mail during the Games.
The London authorities are implementing a range of traffic flow restrictions around the capital during the Games, to ensure athletes, spectators and other Games participants can travel between venues without delays.
Arrangements are including a special Olympic Route Network and Paralympic Route Network to ferry participants between key Olympic sites, which will impact on other, non-Games traffic in the area.
Mark Thomson, olympic director for Royal Mail, said: “Royal Mail is geared up to serve London during the Games. We will continue to collect and deliver six days a week despite the inevitable impact on the capital’s transport system because of the Games.”
Royal Mail’s Parcelforce unit is also writing to all customers to inform them about the measures being taken to minimise the impact of the Games.
The company is intending to maintain its delivery guarantees on its next day service, express24, and will prioritise delivery in its timed services – express9, express10, expressAM and expressPM – but will not be able to provide normal delivery guarantees on the timed services.
Parcelforce is investing GBP 1m in its Olympics strategy, hiring 260 more staff and hiring an extra 140 vehicles to keep packages moving.
The company said Parcelforce Worldwide will be making a GBP 1 extra charge for delivery to affected postcodes in London, from 27 July to August 17, and from 29 August until 9 September. The charge will replace the usual 50p fee for the London Congestion Charge.
Rival parcel delivery companies have also stated their intentions to charge an Olympics premium fee during the Games.