Residents' 'frustration' as Royal Mail works to deliver in lockdown

File photo dated 20/01/15 of the logo for Royal Mail. Royal Mail has announced that around 33,000 te

Royal Mail is experiencing delays in Highbury and Upper Holloway. - Credit: PA/Chris Radburn

Islington residents have spoken of their "frustration" with postal delays as Royal Mail "works hard" to maintain its service through the pandemic. 

Royal Mail says resourcing and self-isolation issues amid the Covid-19 crisis has caused problems at its offices around the country, including in Highbury and Upper Holloway. 

This newspaper understands the problem in Islington emerged around late November, with residents reporting deliveries arriving weeks late throughout the festive period and beyond. 

A Barnsbury resident, Jennie Loveday, told the Gazette: "People were very upset and angry that all their Christmas stuff did not arrive before Christmas. But obviously, it's not only Christmas cards that have been delayed. There are so many people now that are applying for universal credit and people are not getting these letters.

"People are missing their appointments, and it will now be having a knock-on effect on their claims."

She praised the "brilliant" postal worker who services her area - "it's not the postman's fault" - but said it was "frustrating". 

Jennie added: "If you have a company like Amazon Prime delivering the next day, how can Royal Mail get it so wrong?"

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Highbury resident Talia Elliott-Acunzo, who owns Luna Salts on Etsy, said it impacted her business: "[I] ordered a key ingredient from Amazon and the seller actually uses Royal Mail to deliver.

"Lo and behold, this has not arrived and will now have to delay my own orders that have come through to my shop's website.

"It’s a complete mess. It was never this bad during the first lockdown."

A Holloway resident, Valeria Scacchi, added: "This pushed me to not buy anything that was delivered through Royal Mail, taking a lot of business off small businesses and relying on Amazon for my shopping as they have their own delivery service.

"Such a shame, as I was trying to support small businesses."

A spokesperson from Royal Mail said: “Across the UK, our people are working hard to deliver as comprehensive a service as possible to all our customers in challenging circumstances.

"Despite our best endeavours, it is possible that some areas of the country may experience a reduction in service levels due to higher volumes of mail during the lockdown, the ongoing impact of Covid-related staff absences and necessary social distancing measures at local mail centres and delivery offices.

"Right from the start of this crisis, we have played a key role keeping the country connected. Every single letter and parcel is important to us." 

READ MORE: Royal Mail 'working hard' but Islington residents report ongoing delays