Assurances given over post service after move

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RESIDENTS have been assured their postal service will not be affected by a decision to move a sorting office from Teesside to Tyneside.

Mail from Hartlepool is currently sent to a sorting office at Cannon Park, in Middlesbrough, but plans have been made to relocate the operation to the Royal Mail base in Gateshead.

Royal Mail chiefs claim the change is to “modernise” its operations and made reassurances to staff that there will be no compulsory redundancies.

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The move, which is set to take place early next year, means that mail will be collected and transported to Gateshead.

But the only difference Hartlepool residents should notice is the postmark on their out-going mail.

A spokesman for Royal Mail said: “The decision to transfer our processing operations from Middlesbrough to Tyneside was announced in 2010. This followed extensive consultation with the unions to modernise our operations.

“Over the next few weeks we will be transferring the processing of mail posted in the TS postcode area from the current site at Cannon Park Way, Middlesbrough, to our newly refurbished and extended processing centre at Gateshead, Tyneside.

“Our programme to modernise Royal Mail is one of the biggest transformations in UK industry currently taking place.

“We need to modernise in response to the decline in the volume of posted mail and to introduce the latest technology to our sorting centres.

“The expansion of our Tyneside site represents a significant investment by Royal Mail in services in the North-East.”

He added: “There will not be any compulsory redundancies as a result of this move and anyone wishing to remain within the business will continue to do so.

“We will also reimburse our staff for any extra mileage incurred by the changes in their place of work.

“Customers in Hartlepool shouldn’t notice a difference in their mail other than the postmark for mail posted in the TS postcode area may have a different postmark on it.”