ANDOVER residents are sending out a heartfelt plea to their friends and family this holiday season - 'please don't send Christmas cards'.

The plea comes as a result of persisting postal delivery issues in the area that have left many frustrated.

Gilly Findlay, a 70-year-old resident of Roman Way, said the postal service in the town is worsening day by day.

"Even during Covid, it wasn't as bad as this," she said.

READ MORE: Andover postal deliveries severely disrupted as Royal Mail reveals reasons for delay

She has personally informed her friends and family that they should skip sending Christmas cards this year, saying: "It's just a ridiculous waste of money. They're not going to get there on time."

For Ms Findlay and others, these problems have been ongoing for quite some time.

"If they've got issues with staffing, what are they doing to resolve it?" she wondered. "I don't know what's happening there."

The situation in Andover is further complicated by the closure of the Tidworth office by the end of October.

A Picket Twenty resident, who didn't want their name published, said their area doesn't have a postman assigned and they get post once a month.

"We went to the Post office Twice because we were expecting post and it didn't arrive. I saw other people from different parts of Andover waiting for an update on postal deliveries.

"The woman in front of us was expecting her insulin package. There was another person waiting for his bank card."  

In response to these concerns, a Royal Mail spokesperson said: "​A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We are committed to restoring our quality of service to our customers. We have plans in place and dedicated teams responsible for improving deliveries in Andover and throughout our delivery offices nationwide.

“There have been delays at the local delivery office, in part due to high vacancies and in response we have an active recruitment campaign ongoing. The teams at the delivery office ensure that when a delay does occur, it is no more than two days, with the majority of customers receiving their mail on a daily basis.

SEE ALSO: Monxton Road, London Road to be closed for 8 days

“This reflects efforts ongoing nationwide. Over the last 12 weeks we have recruited more than 6,000 postmen and women and are continuing to recruit c.500 permanent positions a week in delivery. To support the health of our employees and assist them in their return to work, we have introduced a wellbeing programme which provides colleagues with free, confidential, and independent healthcare support, including unlimited 24/7 access to an online GP.

“In the lead up to Christmas, we are taking on 16,000 temporary workers, more vehicles and additional parcel sorting sites to handle double the normal volume of parcels we expect over the period.

“These actions plus others are already making a difference in some areas and we are confident that they will continue to improve quality of service for our customers.”