Royal Mail adds Croydon to list of covid-hit sorting offices

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.

Some Royal Mail offices have had half their staff off sick or isolating from 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).

According to the latest Royal Mail apology, CR0, CR2, CR3 and CR6 are all affected by coronavirus delivery delays

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.”

There is a dedicated section on the Royal Mail website with updates about changes to their service.

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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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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7 Responses to Royal Mail adds Croydon to list of covid-hit sorting offices

  1. Desmond FitzGerald. says:

    I received two Christmas cards, both postmarked from Dublin 22nd December 2020 – one arrived on Friday 22nd Jan and the other, yesterday, 27th Jan…. They were both welcome nonetheless.

    • Virgil says:

      Surely if they come from Dublin that would have been posted via AnPost and equally the delay could have been with them and not Royal Mail .

  2. Steve Thompson says:

    I’m still not sure what’s going on with this. I’m in SE25 – I’m still waiting for two Christmas presents I ordered, one on 3rd December and the other on the 9th. Neither of those have arrived. I am also waiting for letters from a hospital – the last one I received came in a plain white envelope so I don’t know how they’re going to prioritise letters from the NHS. But most interestingly I can confirm that I have received ONE letter since 16th December. One whole letter. And it was from Croydon Council, dated two days previously, asking me for £65 for driving down Parson’s Mead which is now an LTN apparently. But this has made me really suspicious of this whole situation. How did this one letter make it through the system in less than 48 hours? My wife also received some Sainsbury’s vouchers about two weeks ago with Christmas offers on them. But that’s it. Two pieces of mail in two months in total for a house of 4 people.

  3. I live in CR0 and in a state of constant gratitude to our local postmen and ladies. We’ve had a largely uninterrupted delivery of post and parcels since the pandemic began. the times of delivery have changed a bit to accommodate the pressures caused by self-isolation and illness and, for a while earlier this month, we were without service for three days. Apart from that….nothing. The Post Office really deserves a huge pat on the back. Given their working situation its a miracle there hasn’t been more disruption.

  4. Mike B. says:

    Have been recently told by my postie that the Norwood office that service SE25 is also affected by Covid hit staff.

    Have seen the effect it from Christmas cards turning up after 20th Jan and sudden arrivals of multiple boxes sent thru Royal Mail that have arrived weeks late.

    Clearly RM are still being somewhat sly with their announcements about what locations are impacted.

  5. Edwin B says:

    I am still waiting for an item I ordered on Ebay on the first week of December to be delivered. At this point I am presuming that it is “lost”. I have started to receive mail again last week, after several weeks of getting no deliveries. Either Royal Mail have bags of undelivered mail sitting somewhere gathering dust, or one of their incompetent posties delivered it to the wrong address. And yet here we are with a second increase in prices in less than a year.

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