Yorkshire gets Sunday deliveries to help clear huge mail backlog

THE Royal Mail is putting on special deliveries tomorrow to deal with the massive backlog of post caused by the severe weather.

Managers said they would be concentrating on delivering parcels and on areas of Yorkshire which have not had mail for days.

Extra staff are also being drafted in an effort to clear the backlog of post in time for Christmas.

Delays have been worst in Hull and the East Riding and South Yorkshire, but many other areas have also been affected.

Disgruntled customers have complained in their hundreds about deliveries not getting through but union representatives say the position is now easing.

A Royal Mail spokesman said: "Our collection, processing and delivery networks in Yorkshire have been badly affected over the past 10 days or so and we apologise to any customers affected by the disruption to postal services.

"We are managing to deliver to the vast majority of addresses and the situation is improving as roads to the more outlying areas become accessible. Our managers are re-assessing the local situation on a daily basis and all our staff are doing everything possible to keep the mail moving."

In Hull around 130 staff will be delivering mail tomorrow. One postal worker described the situation in the main sorting office as chaotic, mail being piled up on "every available inch of floor".

The North East regional secretary of the Communication Workers' Union, Paul Clays, said in 23 years as a postman he had never seen the conditions as bad. "People have to realise that when postmen and women go out on delivery they can be out five hours in minus seven – and I think the worst weather was minus 17. I am confident that postmen and women will do absolutely everything they can to make sure this backlog is cleared."

Last posting dates for Christmas are next Wednesday for standard parcels, next Saturday (December 18) for second class items, Tuesday, December 21, for first class mail and packets and Thursday, December 23, for special delivery.