Customers left in limbo at new delivery office

Customers waiting at the new Royal Mail delivery office in Bispham on Sunday - which stayed shut because staff were ill
Customers waiting at the new Royal Mail delivery office in Bispham on Sunday - which stayed shut because staff were ill
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Blackpool’s new £7m Royal Mail delivery centre has been labelled a ‘disgrace’ after failing to open just two days after its official opening.

Although the Faraday Way complex employs 260 workers, nobody was available to open up as advertised on Sunday afternoon, leaving customers waiting in vain outside.

Royal Mail says two members of staff due to work on Sunday both called in sick. It apologised today to those who travelled to the out-of-town facility to collect their undelivered mail

Lorry driver Ashley Swarbrick, 32, from Poulton, tried to pick up a parcel on Sunday.

He said: “People were pulling up every few minutes. It’s a disgrace. Elderly people were stood in the cold waiting.

“There was nothing in the window, no ‘sorry we are closed’, or anything.”

A Royal Mail spokeswoman said two members of staff had been due to work on Sunday but said both were ill. She said: “We apologise to customers for being unable to collect items from the Blackpool and Poulton Enquiry Office between noon and 4pm on Sunday.

“This was due to staff sickness at extremely short notice. We apologise sincerely that this was not notified to customers.”

Footballing legend Jimmy Armfield and Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard officially unveiled the new complex, which handles around 120,000 items of post each day, last week, although it opened to the public on October 5.

Fears had been raised that taking the service out of the town centre would inconvenience customers collecting undelivered parcels but bosses said mail is re-delivered free of charge if people are out when their postman calls.