The Countryside Alliance welcomes a “fundamental review” of the regulation of Royal Mail to secure the Universal Service Obligation (USO), which was announced today (16 June) by Ofcom. The move follows the withdrawal of Royal Mail competitor Whistl from the direct delivery of letters, however competition remains strong in other parts of the market, including parcels. Post_Box

Sarah Lee, head of policy for the Countryside Alliance said: “The Universal Service Obligation (USO) is the Royal Mail’s promise of a six-day-a-week postal service to all parts of the UK for a uniform tariff, and is enshrined in legislation.

“The Countryside Alliance has long been concerned about the impact changes and competition in the postal delivery market could have on rural postal services and the knock-on effect for rural communities and businesses. Postal services and the USO are essential to those living and working in the countryside.

“We believe the working of the postal services market and the USO must be addressed as a matter of urgency and we have previously supported the call for the regulator Ofcom to bring forward this review of end-to-end competition of direct delivery mail.

“However, we ask that, if it is deemed to be under threat, any changes to regulations needed to maintain the USO are made swiftly, to ensure rural communities continue to have access to a six day a week service.”

For more information, contact the Countryside Alliance press office on 0207 840 9220 or email [email protected]

Notes for journalists

• Read the full Ofcom release at