Royal Mail misses first class delivery targets in Wales

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Image caption Newport had the worst delivery rate in Wales for first class mail last year

The Royal Mail missed first class delivery targets in every region in Wales last year, annual results show.

The group failed to hit its 91.5% next-day delivery target during 2009/10 due to industrial action and bad weather.

Newport was named as the worst-performing area, missing its target by more than 3% with an 88.2% achievement rate.

A consumer group said Royal Mail now needed to "raise its game" to meet the needs of customers in Wales.

Targets were hit in some areas of Wales in two quarters of the year, but the annual results are culminative.

Royal Mail said its first and second class quality of service improved significantly in the last six months but that industrial action by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) in 2009, along with disruption caused by severe winter weather, meant most services fell short of targets despite record performances last spring.

Royal Mail's regional operations director in Wales, Tony Baxter, said: "Everyone in Royal Mail is focused on restoring quality of service to the target-beating levels we achieved a year ago and I'm delighted to say that the modernisation agreement we've reached with the CWU provides the stability and framework to complete our transformation to provide consistent, high quality, efficient service for all our customers.

"We are aware that our quality of service results in Wales are all below target, particularly in the Newport postcode area.

"We are determined to improve on these figures and we are focusing our attention on achieving this task."

Consumer Focus Wales principal policy advocate Liz Withers said: "Royal Mail needs to raise its game if it is to satisfy the needs of consumers in Wales and hit the targets it has been set.

"Consumer Focus Wales will be talking to Royal Mail about these results to challenge it to at least meet its postcode area targets with immediate effect.

"We will be continuing to monitor their performance closely this year but believe the results should improve following the agreement that was signed between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union in March."

The quality of service report, which covers the 12 months to March 2010, showed that standard parcels, European international delivery and some business bulk mail beat their targets.

Almost 88% of first class mail arrived the day after posting - below the 91.5% target but above the 78.9% figure in the autumn during a series of national one-day strikes by the CWU.

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