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8 November 2011, 15:02
Royal Mail is to set up nine sites across the country, including one in Watford, to handle the huge Christmas postbag this year.
The postal group is investing an extra £15 million in the sites as it gears up to deliver an estimated two billion items over the festive season.
The move follows the continued growth of online shopping, as well as preparing for any repeat of the severe weather conditions that hit services last year.
The news comes however, only a few months after there were big problems with post in the town with many people were receiving mail days late or even not at all. Royal Mail said it was down to teething problems when a new delivery system was introduced but assure us the service is running normally again.
However, Watford's MP Richard Harrington has told us he's still receiving complaints and is worried the added Christmas workload will impact on the town's service again ''I'm quite concerned about it because I've been dealing with a lot of constituents over the last few months who are very very disatisfied with the current mail service and I'm still receiving even today about five emails or phone calls a week complaining about the situation.
''If it works then I'll say to them well it was the right decision, and of course at the end of the day I'm very happy for as much work as possible to stay within Watford. I just want to make sure my constituents get the right deliveries at the right time.''
Ray Tompsett, Royal Mail's Process Director for Thames Valley says they've learn't from their mistakes ''If we've implemented recent changes that didn't go as smoothly as we planned that then just makes us more determined to make sure any future changes that we pay more attention to.''
He also points out Royal Mail has just successfully moved all the process work from Watford to the new mail centre in Home Counties North without any disruption ''That's gone seemless and people would not have seen any change to service in terms of the items they are posting and the items they are receiving
''There's a lot of detailed planning, we're going into a casual recruitment campaign at the moment, so there's an awful lot of effort to make sure that our customers aren't disrupted during this change.''