Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Are the Red Machins Doomed?

Actually, it is more likely that the blue Machins would be doomed. That would happen if Ofcom, the current postal regulator, returns Royal Mail to a single class of inland letter mail. The December issue of Stanley Gibbons Monthly reports that Ofcom took a survey, and a majority of respondents were in favor of a single class of mail that offers two-day delivery and costs less than the current first-class rate. I believe the current first-class service offers next day delivery, and second class is two to three days.

The two-tier mail system was introduced in 1968 to help balance the post office’s workload. With only a single class of service, all mail had to be processed at the same time. After the introduction of the two-tier system, the second-class mail could be processed at night, after the first-class mail was finished.

Perhaps modern automation no longer requires such separation, and a single class of mail would be more efficient for the post office and, apparently, more desired by mailers.

I would guess it’s a long road from here to there, but if it happens, there would be a lot fewer Machins for us to collect.


(I linked to the Stanley Gibbons site, but you cannot read the magazine without a subscription.)


Anonymous said...

Anything that potentially halves my current outlay would be most welcome. What a silly notion, RM will just increase the rate of change for the single value.

Ian - Norvic said...

With the Jeffrey Matthews palette being ejected this year we may see the 2nd class change from blue whatever happens with the regulator. That would also make the 2nd class blue Faststamp short-lived.

Expect new colours for the new tariff stamps and possibly for some of the other NVIs in April.