Postbox numbers boosted by Royal Mail initiative in NI

File photo dated 28/07/2009 of a postal worker emptying a post box in London, as Royal Mail was dealt a fresh blow after regulator Ofcom said it would not impose new conditions on the firm's direct-delivery competitors. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday December 2, 2014. Ofcom added that the universal postal service - where letters are posted anywhere in the country for the same price - is not under threat because of the impact of competition. See PA story INDUSTRY Mail. Photo credit should read: Katie Collins/PA Wire
File photo dated 28/07/2009 of a postal worker emptying a post box in London, as Royal Mail was dealt a fresh blow after regulator Ofcom said it would not impose new conditions on the firm's direct-delivery competitors. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday December 2, 2014. Ofcom added that the universal postal service - where letters are posted anywhere in the country for the same price - is not under threat because of the impact of competition. See PA story INDUSTRY Mail. Photo credit should read: Katie Collins/PA Wire

Around 280 new postboxes are to be installed across Northern Ireland as part of a Royal Mail initiative to boost public access.

The new boxes will be placed mainly in rural areas, new housing developments and areas not currently served by a postbox.

Exact locations will be confirmed within weeks.

Once complete, 98.35% of UK households will be within half a mile of a postbox.

England will also get a further 280 boxes, Scotland 150 and Wales 46.

Paul Sweeney, Royal Mail general manager for Northern Ireland, said: “Access to postboxes is very important to our customers in Northern Ireland.

“This programme underlines our commitment to them and the universal service. The new boxes will benefit rural areas, which have not previously been served postboxes.”

Commenting on the announcement, Kellin McCloskey of the Consumer Council said: “We welcome today’s announcement by Royal Mail regarding the installation of approximately 280 new postboxes across Northern Ireland. We have been involved in early discussions with Royal Mail to ensure consumers can more easily access postal services through increasing its post box coverage. Given NI had the lowest level of post boxes of all UK nations, this is good news for consumers in NI.”