Royal Mail: Snow and Ice

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered at on 3 February 2010.

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Photo of Ben Chapman Ben Chapman Labour, Wirral South

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions he has had with Royal Mail on its service to customers in areas which did not receive mail deliveries during the recent adverse weather conditions; what (a) information and (b) consultation Royal Mail held with such customers; and what assessment has been made of whether the universal service obligation was complied with during the period of adverse weather conditions.

Photo of Pat McFadden Pat McFadden Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

Department officials were in contact with Royal Mail during the severe weather.

Decisions relating to operational matters are the direct responsibility of the company and local assessments were made on whether services could operate safely under local conditions. Royal Mail kept customers informed of disrupted services via its website: but due to the nature of the changing conditions, assessments had to be regularly made and it was not always possible to give customers advanced notice of whether local services will be operating as normal.

Postcomm, the independent postal regulator, is responsible for monitoring Royal Mail's performance in relation to the universal service obligation. The regulator receives regular compliance reports from Royal Mail regarding its quality of service and will where appropriate raise any reasonable concerns with the company over any significant interruption to local services due to the severe weather conditions.

The Government would like to thank postmen and women up and down the country for their efforts to deliver the mail in the face of the extreme weather conditions recently experienced in the UK.

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