Written Answers. - Postal Service.

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

222 Mr. O'Dowd asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if he will make a statement on the significant delays in the delivery of post which is sent by the pensions services in England. [2824/03]

I met the group chief executive of An Post on 30 December last in view of the evident public disquiet over the delay in mail deliveries over Christmas. At the time I was informed of the difficulties which the company had experienced and the delays which resulted. The company has since indicated that one million items of mail, which were due for delivery before Christmas, were delayed and not delivered until early January.

Most of these items were Christmas cards. Business mail was at all times prioritised and the usual level of service for this time of year was maintained for these customers. The major difficulties arose within the catchment area of the Dublin mails centre which handled 80 million items of mail during the Christmas period. The main reason for the delay in deliveries was due to operational changes at the Dublin mails centre. An Post has given an assurance that these delays will not be repeated. The Commission for Communications Regulation, which has statutory responsibility for the quality of service to customers within the reserved area, has also requested a report from An Post on this matter.