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PPA condemns Royal Mail plans

The Professional Publishers Association (PPA) is calling on government to refuse Royal Mail’s plans to stop Saturday letter deliveries.

PPA condemns Royal Mail plans
Sajeeda Merali: “We strongly urge Royal Mail to reconsider its decision.”

The postal company yesterday announced it has approached government to seek an ‘early’ move to five day letter delivery.

The PPA says that this move will seriously impact long-established weekly magazine titles, making it difficult to operate effectively without a Saturday delivery. Many time-sensitive titles are mailed to land on a Friday or Saturday, and already have to build in an extra day due to Royal Mail processing delays.

Publishers have previously stated that this could even lead to the closure of UK print editions and result in multi-million pound losses due to cancelled subscriptions and reduced advertising revenues.

Changing the Universal Service Obligation (USO) would also have a considerable detrimental impact on publication printing schedules. A reduction in available capacity would cause printing costs to rise and result in bottle necks and scheduling gaps negatively affecting print companies’ profitability, damaging both publishers and the wider supply chain, says the PPA.

The move to a special delivery services on Saturdays will also have a profound impact on deliveries of non-USO mail. Whilst publishers may use Royal Mail’s Publishing Mail product or Wholesale Access (mailing products using other postal services), they are still reliant on Royal Mail operatives in the ‘final mile’ to deliver on Saturdays.

Sajeeda Merali, CEO, PPA.

65% of mail in the UK uses Royal Mail’s Wholesale Access services. This includes magazines, bank statements, letters from HMRC, important mail from hospitals and doctor’s surgeries, court documents, and a range of other highly time sensitive information.

Sajeeda Merali, CEO, PPA commented: “The PPA calls on government to block this move to diminish the USO, which will threaten the sustainability of print titles. Time-sensitive titles will be delayed and face significant losses, whilst the entire industry will be impacted by a reduction in print capacity and higher costs. We strongly urge Royal Mail to reconsider its decision: it is quite clear that financial sustainability can be achieved without the degradation of core, legally mandated services. We will work with our members, government and Royal Mail to ensure that consumers’ access to time sensitive information is maintained.”

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