A new postal collection time from 55 postboxes around Sudbury will take effect from next month, it has been confirmed.
Boxford resident David Lamming first noticed the new collection time on his estate postbox, saying it would start on September 15. But it is now being introduced from October, according to Royal Mail this week.
The move is part of a nationwide scheme affecting up to 50,000 postboxes around the country.
Mr Lamming, from Holbrook Barn Road, said the changes will mean letters have to be posted no later than 9am between Monday and Friday – instead of 4.30pm at present – to ensure delivery the next day, and by 7am on Saturday to ensure delivery the following Monday.
“Otherwise, we have to travel to the delivery office in Churchfield Road in Sudbury,” he said.
He has written to Royal Mail boss Moya Greene demanding an explanation for the changes.
And he is critical of the company’s claims that the changes are about improving efficiencies.
He said: “Royal Mail’s claim to improve access to postboxes is disingenuous, to say the least, when collection times from between 45,000 and 50,000 postboxes are being moved to both a less customer-friendly time and, what is equally important, an uncertain time.
“To say that ‘changing our final collection times to reflect user needs and volumes will unlock efficiency savings’ is pure management-speak.”
Royal Mail said the postboxes will carry a notice to advise of the new arrangements – giving customers four weeks’ notice.
Spokeswoman Morag Turnbull said: “Thereafter, we will also be advertising the nearest 4pm collection, and the latest collection in the area.
“We would like to reassure all our customers in Sudbury that we will retain a high level of access to late collection posting facilities, 4pm or later.
“For this reason, existing postboxes further than half-a-mile from a late posting facility are not included as part of these changes.
“In the Sudbury area, around 55 postboxes will move to the new collection or delivery arrangements.
“The majority of postboxes will retain a 4pm or later final collection as they have now.”
She said that, in the future, postmen or women will also be able to collect mail from householders on their routes.