THE ROYAL Mail has come under fire after many people across the city have experienced severe postal delays.

The delays, that Royal Mail has said are down to staff sickness and route changes, have meant that some residents have not received deliveries for over three weeks.

MP Anneliese Dodds, who represents Oxford East, voiced her concerns stating that the Royal Mail needs to 'get a grip' on the situation.

The Labour MP told this paper: "I have taken up issues residents are having with Royal Mail deliveries over three dozen times, and I am urgently holding a meeting with them.

"I am really concerned that we now have got some address in Oxford East who have not had proper deliveries for three weeks, and that includes letters about hospital appointments, letters about the execution of wills, legal documents, and final demands for bill payments."

Maggie Lewis, who is a resident in Cowley, echoed the MPs concerns, stating that 'residents and posties need help'.

She added: "We've heard the reasons behind the problems but we need action now - bring forward the temporary workers for Christmas to help with the backlog."

Ms Lewis, who runs the local Blackbird Leys Community Facebook Page, said that one resident has been waiting 'ages' for their blue badge to be delivered - another missed a hospital appointment after not receiving a letter on time.

Ms Dodds reflected on similar experiences reported by her constituents: "Constituents have missed information being sent by the NHS, such as test results, which is problematic.

"There have also been more emotional and sentimental communications where people have been bereaved and have not received messages from loved ones through the post, which has caused them distress.

"We cannot have these chaotic outcomes, from what I understand was a change in the organisation of different shifts and these things could very well happen again in the future.

"They need to have a proper plan for working through that."

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We apologise to customers for any delays they may have experienced in some parts of Oxford.

"The vast majority of mail and parcels are delivered safely and on time.

"In recent weeks, we have implemented revisions to our postmen and women’s routes in Oxford to ensure they reflect changes in the local area, such as new residential developments, and are fairer and more balanced to reflect the growth in parcel deliveries.

"Unfortunately, these changes also coincided with a higher than normal rate of sickness absence which placed additional pressure on the operation.

"We are working hard to resolve the situation and normal service is now beginning to resume.”