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27 July 2007

Stevenson Welcomes Common Sense Decision on Zonal Postal Pricing

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the announcement from Postcomm that it is proposing to reject Royal Mail’s zonal pricing application.

Mr. Stevenson has previously declared his opposition to this proposal in a Department of Trade and Industry consultation in March. The proposal by Royal Mail to charge different prices for business mail depending on where in the UK the mail is being delivered would have been seriously detrimental to rural areas.

Commenting Mr. Stevenson said;

"This is a fantastic victory for common sense. The zonal pricing proposals would have seriously undermined the principle of the universal service obligation, which is so important to rural and remote areas of Scotland.

"The proposed restriction to Royal Mail's universal service obligation would have primarily affected business mail, resulting in companies paying more to send mail to remote areas. This would have threatened the economic backbone and therefore the whole viability of rural town lands, villages and communities in Banff & Buchan and across Scotland.

"We have already suffered the loss of many rural post offices and many more are likely to go under the current review. The loss of mail services that would have inevitably followed the introduction of zonal pricing would have been another serious blow to rural areas of Scotland.

"Postcomm must keep their nerve on this issue and stand up for rural Scotland by continuing to reject this damaging proposal".
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