Above the law? The Royal Mail

16 Sep

I spotted this royal mail van holding up two busy double-decker buses (with a capacity of over 100 people between them) parking on double yellow lines/no waiting area in Ipswich town centre yesterday. I pointed this out to the driver who took pleasure in getting out of the vehicle again, pointing at the royal crest on the driver’s door saying that this was royal business and they could ignore these irritating little rules; it appears that he is right, along with drivers of diplomatic vehicles they appear to be able to do what they like. I asked him to go and explain that to all the people in the buses but he declined. You will notice from the picture that there is plenty of space to park on the other side of the road avoiding any hold-up. I subsequently spotted two more Royal Mail vans up on pavements in the town soon afterwards. This is not an isolated incident, these folk up in Darwen are also getting pretty upset about their local mail vans as well.

A common theme about this whole parking malarkey is that too many people seen to think that just because it isn’t actually illegal then it must be OK to do it. Here is why it matters in this case. The map below shows where the the van was parked against a background map highlighting bus intensity (yellow is the highest, blue is lowest). Here is the location on Google Streetview. The second photo shows the van in question. Buses cost about £1 per minute to run btw ignoring for now the disruption to the many passengers who uses these popular routes.

Ipswich town centre colour coded by bus intensity

Royal Mail van blocking busy bus route

Map produced using soon-to-be-released features on ITO Map using bus data from Traveline, base mapping from OpenStreetMap & contributors, and building outlines from Ordnance Survey Settlement Line from VectorMapDistrict.

Here is the other van parked up on the pavement in town the same day.

Another Royal Mail van up on the pavement the same day

9 Responses to “Above the law? The Royal Mail”

  1. Graham Martin-Royle September 16, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    The royal mail are exempt from a lot of motoring legislation (if the monopoly on mail is dispensed with, parliament will need to take a very good look at this), I remember finding out years ago that even on safety related matters like drivers hours (how long they can drive for, minimum breaks etc.) they could do pretty much what they liked. Their lorries weren’t even required to have tacho’s (my knowledge could be out of date now).

    The driver in this photo though is just plain ignorant and selfish, there is no excuse for this at all.

  2. Alistair February 21, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

    Your only upset because the item or items being delivered weren’t for you. If it was then you’d be fine with it.

    • Peter Miller March 18, 2014 at 1:25 am #

      Personally, I encourage delivery drivers to park considerately, even if they are delivering to my house.

  3. P.J.Tulk May 17, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    Hi there. I am a driver doing a similar job to the guy in your photo. Don’t get me wrong, he parked like a dick. Most of us have heard about the crown on the van thing, but tbh it is a bit of an urban myth. I know of many drivers who pick up parking tickets, and usually a disciplinary from the Royal Mail at the same time. If you see something like this again, get a couple of witnesses, take your photos, and contact the Royal Mail on 08457 740 740. Having said that, please bear in mind that a Royal Mail van has to make upwards of 50 stops on a round, and often more for deliveries. Often, the vehicle is stopped for a very short time, and moves on to the next call. Many times, parking near the call is a tricky proposition, and every day I have to stop on a double yellow, or the pavement, just to make the call. Post boxes can be a nightmare to get close to. In recent years, drivers rounds have doubled and even tripled in the quest to cut down on costs, so time is always a factor for us. I, and many drivers like me, try to minimise disruption to traffic and pedestrian flow, but this is not always possible. The vast majority of drivers I work with are reasonable people, who just want to do their jobs and keep out of people’s way. Furthermore, most of us work for Royal Mail because we enjoy providing a good and efficient public service. We don’t expect the public to excuse our bad behaviour for this, but please try and put yourself in our boots before you demonise us. Thanks for your consideration.

    • Sarah Wilson February 13, 2020 at 9:14 pm #

      Complaining to royal mail is a pointless waste of time. They just don’t care

  4. gordon britton August 15, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

    we have a problem in our area , where the royal mail vans are parking up in spaces outside shops in one hour parking bays and staying there for 3 hours , the signs clearly state one hour parking , no return within 2 hours .
    between the hours of 8am till 5pm. If the bay is free after they finish their shift at 2pm they park in these bays all night. shops rely on customers coming into our small town , but people are being put off because of lack of parking and these royal mail guys , think its a great idea, makes my blood boil.

    • Peter Tulk August 26, 2014 at 7:49 am #

      Hi Gordon. I am a Royal Mail driver, and most of us are good guys, and would never do what you claim to have experienced. It certainly is NOT Royal Mail policy to allow such things to happen, and I suggest that you contact your local delivery office to find out why it is happening. The chances are it will stop. We do park on lines or in restricted bays to make collections/deliveries, but always as considerately as possible, and for the shortest possible time.

  5. matt March 5, 2016 at 6:11 am #

    Royal mail vans can park anyware as long as its not dangerous, hazards are on and are on delivery. Sorry

  6. Sarah Wilson February 13, 2020 at 9:11 pm #

    Even when there is designated parking areas with ample space royal mail prefer to block pavement so the elderly and disabled have to risk their lives by entering the roadway to manoeuvre around their vehicles. When challenged they could not care less and often ignore you. The level of ignorance is mind blowing.
    In Broadstone Dorset a female van driver mounted the pavement narrowly missing me and parked. I challenged her & her reply I’m allowed. Then she went into a shop and came out with a packet of sweets.

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