Home > The Post > Herne Bay and Whitstable delivery office closures a bad idea

Herne Bay and Whitstable delivery office closures a bad idea

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National Postal Workers Day: about 50 people turned up to show their support

As I’m sure you know by now, they are closing down the delivery offices in Whitstable and Herne Bay, and relocating them to Canterbury.

This is being done in the name of savings. It will cost less to maintain a single centralised office than three local offices, we are told. But is it actually true? I’ve been working it out.

There are 50 workers each in Whitstable and Herne Bay: 100 workers altogether. It will take about half an hour each way to drive to and from Canterbury. So that’s an hour of Royal Mail time spent getting postal workers to and from the start of their rounds. We earn £9.00 an hour, so it will cost the company £900 a day, which is £4,500 a week, or £225,000 a year. That’s nearly a quarter of a million pounds a year just to get the workforce to the start of their round every day.

This is not to speak of the extra pollution of having hundreds of vans spluttering about in Canterbury during the rush hour or the cost in maintenance, petrol, road tax and insurance. It’s not to speak of traffic chaos in Canterbury or parking problems in Military Road. It’s not to speak of the inconvenience to customers of having to travel to Canterbury to pick up their undelivered mail.

Using the Royal Mail’s own figures in terms of 100 undelivered items of mail per day per office, and the extra amount of workers commuting from both towns to Canterbury and the new fleet of vans, we have calculated that this will add an astonishing 786,000 extra miles of road journeys en route per year.

Those of you who sent a letter to the Royal Mail will know how dismissive they are.

It is a business matter, they say: they don’t have to consult, and the case is now closed.

It is time for us to stand up and tell them this is much more than a business matter, we demand that they listen, and the case is anything but closed.

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