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Royal Mail suffers delivery delays in 23 areas in the run-up to Christmas – check to see if you’re affected

Royal Mail has warned households in 23 locations across the UK that they could face delays to letter and parcel deliveries in the run up to Christmas, largely due to staff contracting Covid-19. 

Of Royal Mail's 1,200 UK delivery offices, which is where mail is sorted, 23 of those are currently experiencing severe delays. We've a full list of affected areas below, although Royal Mail says it will rotate deliveries in these locations in a bid to minimise delays. It adds that it will also provide extra support to affected offices. Royal Mail post is normally delivered six days a week barring Sundays and excluding bank holidays. 

For help picking cheap parcel delivery services near you, see our Parcel Delivery guide. 

There are 23 areas affected by Royal Mail delivery delays

As of today (15 December), delivery offices where Royal Mail users can expect delays, as well as the subsequent impacted postcodes, are: 

  • Belfast West (BT10 - BT12 and BT17
  • Belper, Derby (DE56)
  • Burnham On Crouch, Essex (CM0 8)
  • Chelmsford, Essex (CM1 to CM3)
  • Congleton, Cheshire (CW4 and CW12)
  • Cricklewood, London (NW2)
  • Farnborough, Hampshire (GU14)
  • Finsbury Park, London (N4 and N15)
  • Havant, Hampshire (PO9 - PO10)
  • Hornsey, London (N8)
  • Longton, Staffordshire (ST3 and ST11)
  • New Ferry, Wirral (CH32, CH62 and CH63)
  • Northwich, Chester (CW8 - CW9)
  • Pontypridd, Glamorgan (CF37, CF38 and CF46)
  • Rayleigh, Essex (SS6)
  • Shrewsbury, Shropshire (SY1 - SY5)
  • South Croydon, Surrey (CR2)
  • St. Helens, Merseyside (WA9 - WA11)
  • Stocksbridge, South Yorkshire (S36)
  • Upminster, Greater London (RM14)
  • Upton, Merseyside (CH30 and CH49)
  • Warrington, Cheshire (WA1 - WA2 and WA4 - WA5)
  • Willesden, London (NW10 and NW26)

Royal Mail will update its website daily to keep customers informed of any delays. 

What to do if your delivery is delayed

If you have any concerns about your post being delayed, you can contact Royal Mail's customer services team on 03457 740 740. 

While there are no guarantees, you can also submit a compensation form via the Royal Mail website, which covers you when your post is lost, damaged, or delayed. You need to make sure you have the full details of the sender and recipient, the Royal Mail service used (e.g. 1st Class or Royal Mail Signed), the date and location of posting, the proof of postage and (where relevant) proof of value/cost price.

It's also worth trying the following if you've had problems:

  • If you're waiting for a parcel that's been delayed, contact the retailer. Remember, even though it's Royal Mail delivering your parcel, it's the retailer's responsibility to make sure it arrives. Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations, you are entitled to a refund if your parcel arrives later than promised. If you ordered online or over the phone, you also have the right to cancel within 14 calendar days and get a full refund, though you may need to pay return delivery costs. You may also be entitled to compensation if you had to take time off for a rearranged delivery. See our Delivery Rights guide for more on your rights.
  • Try ordering to a different address or avoiding delivery via Royal Mail. If you can secure delivery to a postcode that isn't affected, say to a family member or friend, it might be quicker to do so. Similarly, if you have the option to avoid using Royal Mail, and can opt for a different courier, this may also be a faster option. See our Parcel Delivery guide for help finding cheap alternatives.  
  • If you're receiving a bill by post and you're worried about late payment, contact your service provider. Discuss your options - you may be able to pay the bill online or over the phone. Similarly, if you're expecting important documents through the post, it might be worth checking if you can receive them via email instead.

What does Royal Mail say?

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Deliveries are operating as normal across most of the country. We aim to deliver to all addresses we have mail for, six days a week. In a small number of local offices this may temporarily not be possible due to local issues, such as Covid-related self-isolation, high levels of sick absence, resourcing or other local factors."

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