DUNFERMLINE councillor Garry Haldane has called on Royal Mail to honour its legal requirement to deliver mail six days a week.

As previously reported in the Press postal workers have been dealing with ‘Christmas levels’ of parcels during the pandemic as the public try to reduce the amount of face-to-face time with the outside world.

To deal with the increasing demand Royal Mail decided to scrap Saturday letter deliveries back in April but Cllr Haldane fears it'll give them an excuse to get rid of its daily service once and for all.

The Dunfermline Central councillor, who also works as a postie, said: “While postal workers risked their health by continuing to work during the lockdown as an essential service, managers are failing daily.

“On top of this the pandemic brought a new challenge with Christmas levels of parcels and a third less letter traffic which has continued for over five months. Now Royal Mail are failing to deliver to every address over six days a week as required by law.

“Ofcom, the postal regulator, and the Royal Mail board are unable or unwilling to meet their commitment to deliver the mail.”

Royal Mail’s duty to deliver daily is called the Universal Service Obligation which Cllr Haldane believes is being ignored.

He added: “The sell off of Royal Mail has been a disaster for customers, prices were hiked up, profits were filtered into the pockets of shareholders and customers are paying the price.

“Royal Mail need to do whatever is required to deliver to every address over six days a week. It is not part of a postie's make up to leave customers mail behind in the unit, yet managers are instructing staff to leave mail in the depot rather than pay overtime or recruit staff.

“I am being contacted from most offices that letters are being left in the unit to allow parcels to take priority.

“These letters are often urgent hospital appointments or crucial correspondence that customers have paid postage on, in some cases mail has been left within the work place for up to five days, this is unacceptable and urgently needs to be addressed.

Gary Clark, Communications Workers Union (CWU) branch secretary for the area, said: “We are working extremely hard under difficult circumstances and workers are trying to clear as much as possible each day.

“There’s been a huge increase in the number of packages because of COVID and it’s like Christmas time.

“This means there has been a delay in the delivery of letters.

"We are told there that there is vacancies across the UK for Royal Mail including Dunfermline."

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Royal Mail is proud to deliver the universal service. From the start of this crisis, we always said that despite our best endeavours, it is possible that some areas of the country may experience a reduction in service levels due to coronavirus-related absences at their local mail centre or delivery office.

“We have been working hard to deliver the most comprehensive service we can to all our customers in challenging circumstances throughout this period.

“Every decision we make puts the health of our people and customers first.

“We have put in place a range of preventive measures to protect both our customers and our colleagues.

“All staff have been briefed about the social distancing measures jointly agreed by local management and the CWU.”