Post sorting offices in Croydon, South Croydon and Caterham, between them serving four different CR postcodes, have been added to the Royal Mail’s list of those areas worst-hit by the impact of covid-19.
Like most postal deliveries recently, the Royal Mail’s adding its Croydon offices to its service update has come… well, late. Thousands of residents across the borough, including in South Norwood’s SE25 and Crystal Palace’s SE19 postcode areas, reported delays and disruptions to their postal deliveries in the weeks before Christmas.
Despite hiring extra casual post workers to handle the Christmas rush, Royal Mail staff were increasingly hard-hit by the spread of coronavirus, or the need to self-isolate away from work in the case of an outbreak of the deadly virus. Some reports suggest that some Royal Mail offices around the country had half their staff off sick or self-isolating at any one time.
It all meant that some addresses in the borough received no post deliveries from before Christmas until well into January – with festive cards and presents arriving after the traditional end of the celebrations, when seasonal decorations were taken down on Twelfth Night.
There was particular concern from some older residents that their delayed post deliveries might mean that they miss their appointment from the NHS for the covid-19 vaccine.
Earlier this month, Royal Mail issued a corporate apology for the delays, though at that time it claimed that no Croydon sorting offices were affected.
Yesterday, that changed, with Royal Mail issuing a revised list of the worst-affected sorting offices to include Croydon’s main sorting depot (which serves the CR0 and CR2 postcodes), plus district offices in South Croydon (CR0 and CR2) and Caterham (CR3, CR6).
With the country on its third lockdown, Royal Mail says that there is greater volumes of mail to be sorted and delivered, as more people are placing orders for online shopping.
“Despite our best efforts and significant investment in extra resource, some customers may experience slightly longer delivery timescales than our usual service standards,” Royal Mail’s statement said.
“This is due to the exceptionally high volumes of mail posted during this further lockdown period, alongside necessary coronavirus-related measures we have put in place in local mail centres and delivery offices to keep our people and customers safe.
“In such cases, we always work hard to get back to providing our usual level of service as quickly as we can.”
A spokesperson for the postal workers’ union, the CWU, told Inside Croydon: “Our members have worked under incredible pressure since the beginning of the pandemic. Despite this, they are doing all they possibly can to keep the country connected.
“We ask the public to recognise and understand the tremendous efforts of our members in these unprecedented times.”
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