Adverse weather at the weekend has led to the operator planning more than 14,000 rounds over the course of Monday to week, in addition to Sunday deliveries. Royal Mail will have carried out around 25,000 extra delivery rounds by the time Christmas arrives.
Mark Higson, managing director of Royal Mail, said: “We are planning up to a total of 14,000 – weather permitting – additional delivery rounds in the evenings.
“We have had postmen and women on the streets for the last two Sundays in a row. Royal Mail is committed to doing everything possible to deliver letters, cards and parcels on behalf of its customers.”
The evening deliveries will also give customers a second chance to receive items at their home if they were not in when delivery was first attempted.
The contingency plans are in addition to Royal Mail’s £20m winter investment, announced last week.
But the Communication Workers Union has warned the additional measures – including Sunday and evening deliveries – would be unheard of in a privatised Royal Mail.
Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary, said: “Postal workers at Royal Mail are out delivering in the snow to get Christmas mail to families and businesses at this busy time of year.
“In contrast, supermarkets and private couriers are cancelling or refusing to guarantee deliveries. This is the difference between a public service and private companies which are more interested in their profits.
“If the government gets its way and privatises Royal Mail, then delivery standards will undoubtedly slip away as the expensive Universal Service is left at the mercy of privateers who care only for profit.
“Royal Mail has invested an additional £20m into dealing with the weather, recruiting 3,000 additional people, and putting on thousands of extra deliveries in the run-up to Christmas. The company has also spent £1.5m on non-slip footwear for delivery workers this year alone to help keep deliveries moving through snow and ice.
“On our Christmas list is a public Royal Mail and secure post office network. We’re worried that the ghost of Christmas future may not deliver.”
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