'Three-week' mail delays due to Covid-related absence at Royal Mail office

Covid sickness absence among postal staff at the Royal Mail’s Lichfield office has led to delays in mail delivery of as much as three weeks.

Royal Mail deliveries have suffered due to staff being off with Covid issues
Royal Mail deliveries have suffered due to staff being off with Covid issues

Residents in the WS13 postcode area, which covers the city centre, the north of the city and the villages of Fradley, Streethay, Farewell and Chorley, have been affected.

Some residents have taken to social media to comment on the non-delivery of post where it was claimed priority was given to the delivery of parcels over letters during the run-up to Christmas.

One said: “I know a postie in Lichfield, she told me in very clear terms their manager had instructed them to leave letters in the sorting office and concentrate solely on parcels (more profitable) and the letters can wait.

“There’s piles and piles stacked up in the sorting office.”

Another resident added in a post last week: “I’m WS13 and not had anything for three weeks except for two recorded delivery parcels.”

The residents did, however, acknowledge the pressures of the festive season.

“Fair play to the postal staff that are working flat out,” said one. “Our postie said there were five days in WS13 where they could not get anything out at all.”

Another resident said: “I’ve just spent three weeks temporarily working for Royal Mail.

“They haver 50 mail centres across the country and I’ve heard 37 have staffing problems due to Covid.

“So I’d guess this is slowing the whole system down. They are doing their best under unprecedented circumstances, so things may take longer."

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Deliveries are operating as normal across most of the country. We aim to deliver to all addresses we have mail for, six days a week.

"In the Lichfield Delivery Office we have experienced higher than usual levels of sick absence.

"We are providing targeted support and apologise to customers for any inconvenience they may have experienced.

"Our staff are continuing to work incredibly hard, as they have done throughout the pandemic.

"We are thankful for all of their efforts and determination at the busiest time of year."

The Royal Mail has advised that the UK’s communications regulator Ofcom has granted an exception to the universal service it provides for New Year’s Day meaning no mail will be collected or delivered on that day.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News