MPs voice rural concerns over Royal Mail privatisation moves

Post box An early-day motion has also been supported by the Communications Workers Union

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A cross-party group of MPs has called on the UK Government to guarantee that any moves to privatise Royal Mail would not mean the end of standard postal charges throughout the country.

Royal Mail could be sold off in 2013, prompting fears people in rural and remote areas could end up having to pay more for deliveries.

The company's Universal Service Obligation currently prevents this.

An Early Day Motion, outlining concern, has been signed by 71 MPs.

It has also been supported by the Communications Workers Union.

The SNP's Mike Weir said it would be a disaster if increased competition and efficiencies meant a reduction in the quality of the postal service.

He said: "At present the Royal Mail is under an obligation to deliver mail at the same price in all areas of the UK six days a week.

"These changes would be a disaster for rural areas, and especially rural businesses. A reduction in days could also lead to substantial redundancies within the postal service.

"Scotland needs a first-class mail service for all our communities."

Royal Mail has stressed that the level of provision they provide is backed by law.

Spokeswoman Barbara Roulston said: "Royal Mail is honoured to provide a six day week service at a uniform price across the UK.

"It is enshrined in law. There can be no change to this requirement unless both Houses of Parliament vote for any such change."

The call comes after a recent report published by Citizens Advice Scotland, showing that people living in some remote and rural areas of Scotland are paying extra money to have goods bought online delivered to their homes.

It also said some courier companies were refusing to deliver to certain postcodes.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 165.

    Privatisation is certainly not the way to go with this, people will be unfortunately charged more if the privatisation of utilities have set the standard.

  • rate this

    Comment number 114.

    Private companies will spend a fortune on marketing and spin telling us how good they are, how much better the service is and justify why we are paying so much more than we did under RM. No thanks. We should be discussing the nationalisation of energy and rail not more privitisation.

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    One of the reasons why I've always believed the postal service should be privatised is that it would encourage competition between operators on the grounds of cost. But how is this supposed to happen if we still have standardised service charges? Yes, the regulator should cap excessive charges for people in rural areas and introduce minimum service obligations (like on the railways) tbc....

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    Privatising it can only improve things. Royal mail's standards have slipped so far over the last 20 years I doubt anyone would even want to buy them. I dont trust them to deliver anything at all. I often get mail thats not mine so I assume my mail also goes elsewhere too. And I live in London, I can only imagine the situation is even worse in remote areas.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    ..."prompting fears people in rural and remote areas could end up having to pay more for deliveries"

    You can be sure that if the privatisation of rail, gas, electric and water is anything to go by we will ALL be paying a lot more for our deliveries.


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