36 Facts About Royal Mail


Royal Mail owns and maintains the UK's distinctive red pillar boxes, first introduced in 1852, many of which bear the royal cypher of the reigning monarch.

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Royal Mail generally aims to make first class deliveries the next business day throughout the nation.

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The early Royal Mail Coaches were similar to ordinary family coaches, but with Post Office livery.

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Royal Mail's proposal was refused at the first attempt, but he overcame the political obstacles, and was appointed to implement and develop his ideas.

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Royal Mail realised that many small purchases would fund the organisation and implemented this by changing it from a receiver-pays to a sender-pays system.

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Royal Mail established Romec in 1989 to deliver facilities maintenance services to its business.

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Royal Mail was renamed Consignia plc in 2001 and the new name was intended to show that the company did more than deliver mail; however, the change was very unpopular with both the general public and employees.

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In 1999, Royal Mail launched a short-lived e-commerce venture, ViaCode Limited, aimed at providing encrypted online communications services.

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In 2005, Royal Mail signed a contract with GB Railfreight to operate an overnight rail service between London and Scotland ; this was later followed by a London-Newcastle service.

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On 1 January 2006, the Royal Mail lost its 350-year monopoly, and the British postal market became fully open to competition.

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Royal Mail introduced Pricing in Proportion for first and second class inland mail, whereby prices are affected by the size as well as weight of items.

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Royal Mail ended Sunday collections from pillar boxes that year.

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In July 2013, Cable announced that Royal Mail was to be floated on the London Stock Exchange, and confirmed that postal staff would be entitled to free shares.

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Royal Mail confirmed that both sides had reached a proposed settlement on 4 December, and the CWU confirmed on 9 December 2013 that it would recommend the deal to its members.

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Royal Mail is required by law to maintain the universal service, whereby items of a specific size can be sent to any location within the United Kingdom for a fixed price, not affected by distance.

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The Postal Services Act 2011 guaranteed that Royal Mail would continue to provide the universal service until at least 2021.

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In 2004, Royal Mail applied to the then postal regulator Postcomm to ban the carriage of sporting firearms, saying they caused disruption to the network, that a ban would assist police with firearms control, and that ease of access meant the letters network was a target of criminals.

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In June 2005, Postcomm decided to refuse the application on the grounds that Royal Mail had not provided sufficient evidence that carrying firearms caused undue disruption or that a ban would reduce the number of illegal weapons.

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In 2011, Royal Mail established an in-house agency, Angard Staffing Solutions, to recruit temporary workers.

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Royal Mail was accused of trying to circumvent the Agency Workers Regulations, but denied this, saying they only wanted to reduce recruitment costs.

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Royal Mail suffered national wildcat strikes over pay and conditions in 2003.

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Royal Mail is regulated by Ofcom, while consumer interests are represented by the Citizens Advice Bureau.

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Royal Mail has, in some quarters, a poor reputation for losing mail despite its claims that more than 99.

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In July 2012 Ofcom consulted on a scheme proposed by Royal Mail to alter its delivery obligations to allow larger postal items to be left with neighbours rather than returning them to a Royal Mail office to await collection.

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The scheme was presented as offering consumers greater choice for receiving mail when not at home, that is if Royal Mail deliver items as per their stated contractual obligations and was said to follow Royal Mail research from a 'delivery to neighbour' trial across six areas of the UK that showed widespread consumer satisfaction.

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Royal Mail remains liable for undeliverable items until they are received by the addressee or returned to sender.

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Royal Mail was fined £50 million by Ofcom in 2018 for breach of European Union competition law.

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Royal Mail is collected and brought to one of the mail centres.

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Royal Mail operates 66 intelligent letter sorting machines in the UK, which were installed in the mid-1980s and early 1990s to improve the speed and efficiency of sorting and delivering mail.

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Royal Mail operates an international-mail sorting centre, in Langley, Berkshire close to Heathrow Airport, called the Heathrow Worldwide Distribution Centre, which handles all international airmail arriving into and leaving the United Kingdom, plus some container- and road-transported mail.

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Royal Mail is famous for its custom load-carrying bicycles, made by Pashley Cycles since 1971.

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In 2009, Royal Mail announced it was beginning to phase out bicycle deliveries, to be replaced with more push-trolleys and vans.

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In June 2013, Royal Mail confirmed it would extend Titan Airways' contract to operate night flights from Stansted Airport, from January 2014 to January 2017, introducing new routes to Edinburgh and Belfast using three Boeing 737s.

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In 2021 Royal Mail announced plans to trial using a drone between the UK mainland and St Mary's airport, Scilly Isles.

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Royal Mail delivered its first parcel using a drone in December 2020 when a package was sent to a remote lighthouse on Scotland's Isle of Mull.

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Royal Mail operated the London Post Office Railway, a network of driverless trains running on a private underground track, from 1927 until it closed it in 2003.

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