Royal Mail has warned that rival delivery firms are endangering its Universal Service commitment, which guarantees delivery of letters to all of the UK.
The Universal Service Obligation means Royal Mail commits to delivering mail nationwide, six days a week and at one fixed price. The postal service, which was privatised last year, has reported a 21% fall in first-half profits, and warned that growing competition from rivals such as Amazon will make it a struggle to meet its obligations.
The Country Land and Business Association (CLA), which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, has said the any cuts to service would cause harm to those who live and work in the countryside.
CLA President Henry Robinson said: “The daily post is, and must remain, an intrinsic part of rural life. Without it, rural services, which are already under significant strain, will be seriously undermined.
“Any suggestion that Royal Mail is seeking to amend, or possibly abolish the Universal Service Obligation in the future, is a serious threat to everyone living and working in the countryside.”
Moya Greene, Royal Mail’s chief executive, warned that changes would have to be made, and said: “the threat is now”. She added, however, that the company was “fully prepared” for the busy Christmas period.