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Tuesday, 10 September, 2002, 14:10 GMT 15:10 UK
Anger over post box changes
The Royal Mail has come in for fresh criticism after it decided to remove detailed delivery collection times from the front of post boxes.

The latest brickbats for the company, which changed its name back from Consignia in June, comes after publicity over lost letters and plans to stop the second post.

From November post boxes will be fitted with new plates which only carry the time of the last collection of the day.

A Royal Mail spokesman said the changes would help visually impaired customers as the text would be bolder.

The company had initially considered removing all times but after an approach from consumer watchdog Postwatch, it agreed a reprieve for the last collection time times.


It isn't high-tech. It wouldn't cause delays. It is just a little metal tab inserted on the pillar box

Kay Dixon, Postwatch

The news comes less than a month after Royal Mail admitted half a million items of post were lost each week, and only two months after controversial plans were mooted to charge 14 a week for having fewer than 20 letters delivered before 9am.

Postwatch said the current system for listing all times on pillar boxes - which dates back to the 19th century - was preferable as it was helpful to some customers.

But it accepted most people were not particularly interested in the exact times of collections throughout the day and switched its campaign to ensuring customers would at least know if they had missed that day's post.

Kay Dixon is chairman of Postwatch's greater London region where the changes are already being rolled out.

She said: "It isn't high-tech. It wouldn't cause delays. It is just a little metal tab inserted on the pillar box so that you know whether the post has been collected.

"It's simple, cheap and helpful.

"Customers can be assured Postwatch will continue to press Royal Mail to provide this basic information."

See also:

10 Jul 02 | Business
14 Jul 02 | Business
25 Mar 02 | Business
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