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Save Whitstable and Herne Bay Delivery Offices

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Whitstable and Herne Bay Delivery Offices are going to close.

The ostensible reason is that the offices are too small to take the new walk-sequencing machines that are being introduced in the name of “modernisation”. So rather than bringing the letters to the offices, the offices will have to be moved to the letters.

Where’s the logic in this? There are about fifty workers in the Whitstable office. Every one of them will have to do four car journeys a day: into and out of work, and to and from their round. That’s two hundred car journeys every day in place of one lorry-load of letters.

You can double that figure to account for Herne Bay. So much for sustainability.

Meanwhile, according to the Royal Mail’s own figures, the number of letters is dropping. This is because of new technology, such as email and text. At the same time, as every postal worker knows, the number of packages are increasing.

The same technology which has cut into the letters business also allows customers to buy books and other large items over the internet. Ebay and Amazon have replaced utility bills and personal letters as the Royal Mail’s main business.

The point about packages is that they won’t fit through letter boxes, which means that, if a customer is out, the postal worker will have to leave a card and the customer will have to pick up their packets from the delivery office.

So what have the Royal Mail done? They’ve spent billions on out-of-date letters technology and a brand new fleet of vans, while closing down local delivery offices: the exact opposite of what’s needed.

This is a clear case of short-term thinking. The delivery office sites are prime real estate. They are being sold off now, in advance of privatisation, in order to temporarily boost profits while permanently undermining the service.

A saner option would have the company investing in delivery offices, opening up the facilities, and employing more staff to serve the increasing numbers of customers.

But since when did sanity get in the way of profitability?

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  1. Rob
    July 13, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    I work at a DO of approx 150 people but the walk sequencing machines were installed at Greenford Mail Centre which is a different level of the operation serving at least 20 DOs . Surely it makes no sense to put sequencing machines at a DO because that means running a night shift to waklksort just 50 walks.

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