MSP expresses concern over future of rural postal service

LOCAL SNP MSP, Dennis Robertson has warned that the proposed changes to the Postal Service could leave rural and remote communities with a second class postal service.

Mr Robertson was speaking after Ofcom’s consultation on ‘Securing the Universal Service Obligation’ closed.

As part of a consultation on the future of the universal service obligation, which ensures it costs the same to send and receive mail wherever you live, Ofcom are proposing to give Royal Mail full commercial freedom to determine contracts with large companies and other postal providers as to what they will charge for the final delivery of items.

Mr Robertson had expressed concerns last year that the plans to privatise Royal Mail would lead to higher prices in rural and remote areas in his constituency of Aberdeenshire West. He said, “I warned rural constituents in the 2010 Westminster campaign that a move to privatise Royal Mail would lead to “rip-off” delivery charges to be levied against people who live in remote and rural areas. “Today Liberal Democrat MPs are asking online and mail order companies to consider sending packages with Royal Mail because Royal Mail is cheaper but for how long? The Ofcom proposal would allow Royal Mail to charge whatever it wanted for first class services while the cost of second-class postage could rise by more than 50 per cent. A move like this would be very worrying as I firmly believe it undermines the Universal Service Obligation. The Postal service remains vital to our rural communities and they must look at them again before it is far too late.”