Response to findings of BIS Select Committee’s report into postal services sector & USO

in Post

The Consumer Council has welcomed the findings of the BIS Select Committee’s report “Competition in the postal services sector and the Universal Service Obligation”, which were published today.

Commenting on the report’s recommendations, Kellin McCloskey, Head of Post at the Consumer Council said: “We are pleased to see that the BIS Select Committee shares our view of the importance of maintaining and protecting the Universal Postal Service, provided by Royal Mail. Northern Ireland consumers are particularly reliant on this important service for access to affordable postal services. Northern Ireland’s unique geographical position in the UK and high level of rural deliveries underlines the importance it has for social and business consumers, both for connecting communities to each other and facilitating trade to and from Great Britain.

“Whilst competition has brought savings and choice for many businesses and high volume mailers, the majority of small and micro businesses in Northern Ireland continue to use Royal Mail as their primary or only postal provider. In addition, with the revolution in e-Commerce and related expansion of the parcel market, consumers here have not witnessed the direct benefit of parcel competition, with two in five consumers abandoning an order because of delivery problems or costs.

“Whilst we share the view of the Committee that the Universal Service Obligation is not under immediate threat, the rapidly changing nature of the postal market means Ofcom must remain vigilant to these pressures and their impact on Royal Mail’s ability to deliver this service.

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