Parcel postboxes to be rolled out - cutting post office queues
- Credit: Royal Mail
Royal Mail is set to introduce parcel postboxes in East Anglia and across the UK - enabling people to post pre-paid parcels in the same way they currently post letters.
The move follows a successful trial and will be the first major change in the use of postboxes in 160 years.
Chelmsford will be one of the first locations to get the new boxes, which will be rolled out over six months from August and is for people using Royal Mail's online labelling service.
Following a trial last year, Royal Mail has announced that 1,400 of the new-style boxes will be installed.
It is planning to convert existing meter boxes which have a wider aperture and secure design, to make the posting of larger prepaid items both safe and convenient.
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A spokeswoman said that eventually all meter boxes will be converted, and people will be able to visit a website to find their nearest location.
As well as helping small businesses and online sellers, they will also allow customers to post some barcoded returns parcels back at any time.
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Mark Street, head of campaigns at Royal Mail, said: "The wide-scale introduction of parcel postboxes is one of the many ways we are looking to make the lives of our customers easier.
"The parcel postboxes trial last year was a success, and we hope that the wider roll-out gives added flexibility to online sellers who might be running a business in their spare time and not keeping regular office hours."
The first ever UK postboxes were trialled in Jersey in 1852. They were subsequently introduced across the UK in 1853 by novelist Anthony Trollope, who was a senior GPO executive.