THE Royal Mail has defended its decision to push back collection times from more than a quarter of its postboxes in Oldham.
Under changes that came into operation in February, 47 out of 162 boxes, including a number in Saddleworth, which are currently collected after 4pm, could be emptied as early as 9am.
Independent readers have been in touch to highlight the issue with several boxes in Greenfield already on the Royal Mail’s revised schedule.
The company insists the changes will safeguard the future of boxes deemed to be “low-use”.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We can confirm that some low-use postboxes in Oldham will change the time of their final collection.
“The mail will be picked up by postmen and women as part of their delivery rounds at a time dependent on where the box is located on that route.
“This will typically be between 9am and 4pm in urban and suburban areas Monday to Friday and no earlier than 7am on a Saturday.
“Customers can check if the box has been emptied as the day indicator tab on the postbox will be changed to show the following day once the mail collection has been made.
“These changes have been driven by a decline in letter volumes that means many postboxes no longer cover their costs.
“Instead of taking the step to decommission uneconomic postboxes, Royal Mail has introduced changes to its collections arrangements.
“Notices have been displayed on all affected boxes to give customers notification of these planned changes, as well as information about boxes within one mile with a later final collection time.
“These boxes include business boxes as well as those outside Post Office branches or our mail centres and delivery offices.”