Death of the red post box? Royal Mail tests collection service

Could the UK’s red post boxes be for the chop? Over the next two months, Royal Mail is to test a new doorstep collection service in four postal areas.

Rochdale and Bexleyheath are to be the first two areas beginning on the 24th July while Purley and Urmston will have the trial delivery service from the 31st July.

Royal Mail has never before collected letters and parcels in urban areas while on their delivery rounds.

Customers of Royal Mail will be able to hand over First of Second Class mail, as well as online postage paid letters and small packets to their postal operative for delivery – instead of going to a post box or Post Office branch. Prepaid postage including business replies and Freepost items can also be handed over to the postman or woman.

Residences in the selected areas will be sent a special leaflet that explains the service.

In a statement, Royal Mail added: “The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has been working with Royal Mail in developing this new pilot service. After the two month trial period the new pilot service will be evaluated to assess whether there is demand for the service to be rolled out more widely.”

Other postal operators such as the USPS in the United States have long offered a pickup service. The UK has a long tradition of the red post box that could well see their demise should such a service from Royal Mail prove effective.

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