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Postal Services: Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross

Question for Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

UIN 10711, tabled on 9 October 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what measures he has put in place to ensure that the Royal Mail Universal Service obligation remains active and in force across Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross constituency; and what information his Department holds on planned closures of post offices in that constituency.

Answered on

19 October 2015

Royal Mail, as the designated Universal Service Provider for the United Kingdom, is required under the Universal Service Obligation (USO) to deliver the universal service to all communities – urban and rural – throughout the UK – and that includes the communities of the constituency of Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross.

However, some postcode areas around the country, which may include addresses in Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, are subject to local exemptions under the USO. Such exemptions are only allowed where geographical conditions or other circumstances are considered to be exceptional by Ofcom, the independent regulator for postal services. These exceptions are carefully monitored by Ofcom and are subject to an established appeals process. Quality of service targets for all postcode areas are published quarterly by Royal Mail.

Post Office Limited (POL) has no planned post office closures in the constituency. There is one possible planned change in Brora where there is a consultation underway to move the local post office to a new location in the community.

Answered by

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills