A CHARLTON resident who had her birthday card delivered nearly a month late because of the postal delivery issues around the Andover region has said Royal Mail is running out of ‘Covid’ excuses.

Gilly Summers from Charlton had a birthday card posted to her address from Hampshire as a ‘first class’ mail on August 26. It was finally delivered to her on September 20, nearly a month after it was supposed to reach her.

She also had a parcel posted to her on September 21 which didn’t arrive until October 26. Both the birthday card and the parcel arrived after she had complained to the Royal Mail support line.

Another resident from Ludgershall, Cindy Copley, ordered a special greeting card on November 1 for a significant birthday last weekend, but she hasn’t got it in her hand yet.

The Advertiser has been reporting on the severe disruptions facing postal deliveries in and around Andover for several months. They have been citing Covid-related absences as the reason for delays.

Having seen the disruptions going on for nearly three months, Gilly said the Royal Mail is running out of excuses.

“Going into Christmas, it is not a good position to be in. I know they are short of staff.

“Resourcing must be a nightmare. But they have to sort it soon.”

Gilly, however, said the Royal Mail postmen and postwomen are “absolutely wonderful” and are doing their best to serve the areas.

“They know it is frustrating. A young postman told me they got so many people off – some unwell, and some isolating.”

“I’m sure there will be many volunteers in our areas willing to go and help them out, just like how we had people working at vaccination centres. But apparently, they can’t take volunteers because of security reasons.”

Royal Mail has confirmed they are addressing the delivery issues in Andover as quickly as possible and the situation is improving.

A spokesperson said: “In some areas in Andover, we are experiencing some disruption to service due to sickness absence and resourcing issues which we are addressing as quickly as possible.

“Due to the number of staff absent, we have been rotating deliveries in the area so that our customers receive their mail as frequently as possible. We apologise to customers for any inconvenience they may experience as we work hard to resolve the situation.

“The resourcing issues in the area are improving. Anyone who has concerns over the delivery of their mail should contact the Royal Mail customer service team on 03457 740 740 or via the Royal Mail website.

“We are getting ready to deliver Christmas, including recruiting around 20,000 seasonal workers to help sort the Christmas post at sites across the UK. They will support Royal Mail’s 85,000 permanent postal workers who sort and deliver the mail all year round.”