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Ashford and Margate on Royal Mail ‘blackspot’ list due to staff coronavirus cases

Residents in two Kent towns are receiving little or no mail due to staff shortages.

Both Ashford and Margate are on a Royal Mail blackspot list as the service struggles to deal with high numbers of Covid-19 cases.

Some haven't had any mail delivered due to staff shortages
Some haven't had any mail delivered due to staff shortages

The areas, which cover postcodes from TN23-TN27 for Ashford, and CT7-CT9 for Margate, are on a list of 27 areas in England and one in Northern Ireland that are experiencing severe problems with mail deliveries.

The other affected zones include 13 in or near London, as well as Leeds in West Yorkshire, Chelmsford in Essex and Widnes in Cheshire.

It is not known how many members of staff are affected in each area; a Royal Mail spokesman told KentOnline on Tuesday, January 5, that only four positive cases of the virus had been recorded in the Royal Mail sorting office in Tannery Lane, Ashford.

It is not clear if the situation has dramatically worsened, or if the number was inaccurate.

In a statement published with the list on its website, Royal Mail said it was “working hard to deliver the most comprehensive and high quality service we can to all our customers” despite the pandemic and the associated rise in pressure on delivery resources due to increased online shopping.

“The combination of greatly increased uptake of online shopping, and the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, mean that all delivery companies are experiencing exceptionally high volumes,” the statement said.

“Every single parcel and letter is important to us. Despite our best efforts and significant investment in extra resource, some customers may experience slightly longer delivery timescales than our usual service standards.

“This is due to the exceptionally high volumes we are seeing, exacerbated by the coronavirus-related measures we have put in place in local mail centres and delivery offices to keep our people and customers safe. In such cases, we always work hard to get back to providing our usual level of service as quickly as we can.”

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