Cost-cutting measures to blame for recent post delivery problems

Royal Mail Patchway Delivery Office.

Increasing levels of dissatisfaction with the standard of Royal Mail’s postal delivery service in and around Bradley Stoke in recent weeks are the result of “modernisation and transformation” changes that have recently been introduced at the Patchway Delivery Office, The Journal can reveal.

A message posted on our Facebook page on 13th March by a reader who said she was frequently receiving letters and parcels meant for other houses (including items that were meant to be ‘signed for’ but had just been pushed through the letterbox), attracted scores of comments from readers reporting similar experiences, along with reports of post being delivered much later in the day than previously.

Postman doesn’t ring

Other readers have complained of ‘not at home’ notes being posted through doors and parcels being taken back to the delivery office without the postman even bothering to ring their doorbell.

See below for a small selection of the comments made by readers on our Facebook page. For the full discussion threads, see post #1 & post #2.

Transformation programme

When we brought the complaints to the attention of Royal Mail’s press office, we were given the following statement by spokesperson Val Bodden:

“Royal Mail has recently made changes to our local delivery operations in the Bradley Stoke area for the delivery of BS32 postcode mail, as part of our ongoing modernisation and transformation programme. These changes are essential to respond to changes in the postal market, as we are now delivering fewer letters but more parcels. Our changes help to safeguard the future of the service and place the company on a viable and sustainable footing.”

“The time customers receive mail will depend on where they live on the delivery route. This may be later or possibly earlier than previous delivery times. Mail is being delivered daily and the majority of people will get their mail by lunchtime. It may also mean that some customers will also have a different postman or woman.”

“These changes will require a period of adjustment for our staff. There have been a few teething problems as we bed in the changes and postmen and women adapt to new routes. We apologise if customers have seen an impact from our changes.”

“However, Royal Mail is doing everything possible to maintain a high level of service that our customers expect and deserve. If any customer has any concerns about their mail service, they should contact Royal Mail Customer Services on 03457 740740 or visit our website at

Reader comments on Facebook

GuiGui Z: We’re getting post for other houses and parcels [also for other houses] shoved through the door without anyone ringing the bell or knocking for attention. Some of these are parcels that are meant to be signed for! I have a giant house number on the door! How can the postman mistake it for any other house?

Katherine P: Ours turns up around 2-3pm most days! Always getting letters for other people too, sometimes in different streets altogether! Gave a whole pile back to the postie the other day, he asked why I hadn’t put them back in the post box or dropped them through the right doors! I told him I’m not going round Bradley Stoke doing their job for them – I don’t even know where some of the streets are – they were delivered to my house incorrectly so it’s up to them to fix it.

RoseMarie I: I’m in Stoke Gifford and have missed parcels even when I’ve been in the house (upstairs) and they have never rang the doorbell or knocked, just a note through the door which I’m sure takes longer to fill in than it does to ring a doorbell!

Vanessa W: Our post rarely arrives before 4pm these days and some days we don’t actually get post. When I asked the postie, he said he didn’t have time to deliver our post on that day due to new rounds and regulations etc. I think they have redistributed the rounds out and some posties now have huge rounds with no hope of getting it all done in one day.

Jenny B: Had a situation the other week where post for a completely different road was being posted to us. I managed to stop the postman whilst he was still delivering in the road (as did a neighbour), and he didn’t even apologise or seem remotely bothered.

Linzi M: They have had what they call a ‘revision’ in Patchway Delivery Office. This means that parts of one delivery have been amalgamated into others and the post people are starting work later, hence your delivery will be later. This is a cost cutting exercise as they don’t have to pay staff for unsocial hours (early mornings).

Helen P: I have complained to the post office about this several times but nothing is done, we get signed for post posted through the door without being signed for but packages taken back to the sorting office continually even though someone or a neighbour is in.

Jenna B: I have had to wait almost a week for a parcel that was showing on the tracking service as at the Patchway delivery office! They eventually delivered early doors on a Sunday and scared me half to death!

Royal Mail has changed the ‘last collection’ times at many local post boxes. For details, see this previous story:

 [Forum] “Poor service” as last posting time at Baileys Court changed to 4.15pm

This article originally appeared in the April 2015 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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  1. For the first time in over ten years my regular postman is not around and I get random post for other houses so what excuse does the post office have for this ?

  2. I had my new passport out through a neighbours door and they were expected to drop it round to my address themselves. I have family that work for Royal Mail and have been told that a lot of routes in the BS34 area are on flexi routes now, meaning they are overtime routes so if nobody takes it then it doesn’t get delivered. And if anyone does take it then if they’ve done their required hours that day and the extra route hasn’t been done then it gets taken back to the sorting office.
    Lots of extra work being added to their day and for no more money. It’s disgusting and even with protest from workers nothing is being done about it.
    Needs resolving and soon!

  3. Royal Mail has been a complete shambles lately!!! Receiving and coming post have gone missing and royal mail won’t own up!! Embarrassing.

  4. Welcome to the world of privatised mail service. Even Thatcher (may she forever rot in hell) balked at selling off the postal service. Now you have posties walking longer, pushing trollies that slow them down, delivering more parcels and having to knock on up to 3 neighbours when someone isn’t home. Don’t even try to equate what they do to Hermes, Yodel etc, none of the couriers deliver to up to 750 addresses every day. Complain to the people who privatised the service and the scum who made a fortune from selling what used to belong to us.

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