Tina McKenzie, the policy chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, which represents small businesses and people who are self-employed, said a quarter of small businesses relied on the postal service, and scaling back services would disrupt the economy.
Ofcom, the regulator, said that reducing the number of delivery days without downgrading delivery targets, but did not provide details on how that would work. Under the new guidelines, a next-day service would still be available for urgent letters.
The Royal Mail, which recorded an operating loss of 419 million British pounds ($533 million) last year on an adjusted basis, said it expected to deliver four billion letters annually in five years, down from 20 billion letters nearly two decades ago.
Nick Read, the chief executive of the Post Office, a separate organization from Royal Mail, said in a statement on Wednesday that he agreed there should be a debate on how to modernize the postal service. Still, vulnerable people, older people and businesses depend on reliable letter service, he said, and “their needs must be considered in any review.”
In a poll for Ofcom, 79 percent of people said that some things would always need to be sent by post. Saturday deliveries were important to 58 percent of people, down from 63 percent in 2020, according to the survey of more than 2,000 British adults in October and November. (The U.S. Postal Service delivers only priority mail and Amazon parcels on Sunday.)