COLCHESTER'S MP has met with Royal Mail bosses to discuss post issues across the borough and heard how a third of staff at the town's sorting off were off at the start of January. 

Will Quince met virtually with bosses to pass on concerns over a lack of postal deliveries relayed to him by constituents.


Royal Mail asked Mr Quince to pass on their apologies to residents who's post has been sporadically delivered for months due to coronavirus.

Mr Quince said: "Despite the rigorous procedures put in place by Royal Mail to maintain a Covid-safe working environment, at the start of this month, Royal Mail had a third of their total number or staff in the Colchester sorting office, with two thirds off due to Covid-19, annual leave or sickness.

"The vast majority of these were self-isolating which happened overnight after an alert via the NHS Test & Trace App.

"As a result, Royal Mail had to prioritise mail, such as NHS testing kits.

"Royal Mail explained that they had a huge backlog by consequence, however staff members took on overtime and agency workers were hired in an effort to catch-up as quickly as possible.

"Royal Mail are now back up to their usual workforce capacity in our sorting office, and they expect postal services to return to normal by Monday.

"Royal Mail assure me that they now have robust contingency plans in place so we should not face the same issues should they have staff off again in the future."

Residents have been reporting post issues in Colchester for months, with some letters turning up several weeks late.

Read more >>> Royal Mail explains post problems across Colchester and Tendring

Mr Quince added: "I understand the level of frustration shared by residents over postal services in Colchester these past few weeks and I hope that the above update provides further clarity and relief that services expect to return to normal soon."

The firm said in December it had hired about 33,000 temporary workers nationally in a bid to help permanent posties cope with the increased demand over the Christmas period.

It says its has seen an “exceptionally high” volume of parcels and letters being sent in addition to problems caused by the pandemic.