Royal Mail has confirmed that Jersey’s dedicated mail plane is to be scrapped from next month.
Following a consultation, it’s been decided that all inbound and outbound mail will instead be carried by the existing ferry service from Monday, 7 August – meaning that UK post will now take at least two days to arrive.
Despite hundreds of comments from Jersey consumers online speaking out against the idea when the consultation was first announced, Royal Mail and Jersey Post say they’ve ‘concluded that the provision of the aircraft is no longer commercially viable for both parties’. Royal Mail also argue that, due to a declining volume of letters, using a ferry instead of a dedicated daily flight will ‘offer a more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly option’.
However, it comes as yet another blow to consumers in Jersey, who’ve already seen the stopping of our Saturday mail delivery service in recent years, sharp increases in postal costs, and now, longer delivery times.
In December, Jersey Post announced that the cost of posting a letter would be going up from the start of this year – just nine months after their last increase in postal tariffs. The latest increases meant that the cost of sending a ‘Rest of World’ letter at the start of 2023 was almost double the price it was at the same time in 2022, while letters to the UK, Isle of Man and other Channel Islands rose by 16 pence, from 82p to 98p.
Jersey Post argue that the scrapping of the mail plane will cause ‘no disruption’ to the service that ‘nearly all Islanders and businesses’ receive.
However, when the Royal Mail published it’s consultation earlier this year it said that, without the mail plane, post delivered by ferry to and from the Channel Islands would take a minimum of two days to arrive. And the Jersey Consumer Council regularly hears of examples of mail from the UK already taking longer than that – something which can only now get worse.
And Royal Mail will also now be going ahead with plans to amend the definition of ‘due date’ to allow for an additional working day when delivering to the Island, which they say will allow them to ‘continue to offer a reliable service without ‘being bound by the definition of due date’.
Jersey Consumer Council Chairman Carl Walker said: “Just six months after the cost of posting a letter increased – in some cases significantly – we now learn that those letters will now take even longer to arrive. This means that Islanders will be paying more than they were this time last year, for a less efficient service.
“As consumers living on an island, many of us don’t realise when something arrives at our home whether it has come via sea or air, so we may not yet fully appreciate the true impact this is going to have on our lives, as the mail plane doesn’t just deliver mail.”