Plans to close Royal Mail Hitchin office announced

18:00 23 September 2010

Hitchin sorting office, Portmill Lane, Hitchin

Hitchin sorting office, Portmill Lane, Hitchin

Daniel Wilson

PLANS to close Royal Mail’s sorting and distribution office in Hitchin were announced yesterday (Wednesday).

As part of a review of all operations, Royal Mail is also proposing to transfer all mail processing work from Stevenage to Hemel Hempstead.

The vacated Stevenage mail centre site on London Road would then house Hitchin and Welwyn Garden City delivery operations.

Letchworth GC had been considered for closure, but will remain open under the proposals.

While workers’ jobs are safe, the plans could lead to the permanent loss of hundreds of posts, with the intention not to replace workers when they leave, said one Hitchin postal worker, who did not want to be named.

He added: “Royal Mail is turning its back on Hitchin.

“It’s not just going to affect us as workers, it’s going to affect customers. How are they going to get their packages? At the moment they go to the delivery office, but the idea is to use the local post offices.

“The delivery office is open from 7am until 6pm. They can’t offer that level of service, and people will have to queue up with everyone collecting their pensions.”

He also criticised the plans as it will increase traffic along the A602 and add to the Royal Mail’s carbon footprint, with postal workers driving from Stevenage to Hitchin to make deliveries.

Steve Butts, the Communication Workers Union representative for the area, said: “We are in discussions with the union headquarters about our next steps.

“We welcome anybody who wants to sign the petition we have, to support us, at www.cwu-e4.co.uk”

A spokesman for Royal Mail said: “Royal Mail needs to respond to the huge growth in electronic communications and the resulting decline in overall mail volumes which in the UK means there are now 13 million fewer letters posted every day compared to five years ago.

“This operational review has been undertaken on the basis of a national agreement reached earlier this year between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union, endorsed by postmen and women in a national ballot.

“As part of this agreement we will spend the next three months consulting further with the trade union to establish the detail of how the planned changes would happen and to enable them to put forward any further options for Royal Mail to evaluate.”

Royal Mail is expected to make a final decision on the proposals in November.

0 comments

05:29

A four-year-old pupil at a village school has taken top prize in a green competition that challenged youngsters to create Christmas decorations out of rubbish.

Yesterday, 17:21
Police have not explained how a man died on the motorway hard shoulder

Police have confirmed that a man died on the A1(M) motorway in Hatfield today, but have not clarified the circumstances.

Yesterday, 22:10
Blue Light safety event in Hitchin Market Place

The crumpled remains of a car wrecked in a road collision was the arresting sight driving home a safety message in Hitchin town centre.

Yesterday, 19:00
President of the Stevenage Community Trust Ken Follett, Mayor of Stevenage Sherma Batson, Radio 4 presenter Garry Richardson and chairman Robert Stewart

Organisation is 25 years old in 2015, and the plan is to break iconic barrier

”North

Most read stories

Most commented stories

E-edition