A Whiteley resident has hit out at Royal Mail after waiting for her post for more than a week.

The 55-year-old woman says delays to deliveries across Fareham and Whiteley have resulted in people missing hospital appointments and deadlines for paying fines.

"It's disgraceful," she said.

"If Royal Mail can’t cope now, what will they do on the run up to Christmas when the deliveries ramp up?"

The university lecturer fears the problem will be exacerbated by the North Whiteley housing development which will provide 3,500 new homes.

Royal Mail says it has recruited 6,000 permanent roles in past 12 months and more temporary workers will be joining during the Christmas period.

'Short on staff'

The woman said: "The situation is only going to get worse with more and more housing estates cropping up in the area.

"Some residents have missed paying fines and attending hospital appointments as the post has been more than a week late.

"The postmen and women are always cheery and respectful – but they have told me that the company is short on staff and don’t have the money to pay overtime.

"Royal Mail should be prepared to deal with the number of new housing developments in the Fareham and Whitely area."

'Service will improve'

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We are committed to restoring our quality of service to our customers.

“We have plans in place and dedicated teams responsible for improving deliveries in Fareham and at our delivery offices nationwide.

“Over the last 12 weeks we have recruited around 6,000 postmen and women and are continuing to recruit c.500 permanent positions a week in delivery.

“To support the health of our employees and assist them in their return to work, we have introduced a wellbeing programme which provides colleagues with free, confidential, and independent healthcare support, including unlimited 24/7 access to an online GP.

 “In the lead up to Christmas, we are taking on 16,000 temporary workers, more vehicles and additional parcel sorting sites to handle double the normal volume of parcels we expect over the period.

 “These actions plus others are already making a difference in some areas and we are confident that they will continue to improve quality of service for our customers.”