Postal services

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on postal services. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

15.12.2014Post Office numbers
Over the past 30 years the number of post offices in the UK has almost halved, although numbers have remained stable over the last few years. This note provides a breakdown of the network size by year and by quarter. Also included is a breakdown of post offices by type and by region
01.09.2014Postal services: Royal Mail plc
This note gives an overview of Royal Mail, covering privatisation, Royal Mail's financial performance, competition in the postal sector, the current regulatory framework and safeguards for postal services and Royal Mail's relationship with Post Office Ltd.
28.07.2014Stamp prices
This note sets out the regulatory framework governing stamp prices used by Royal Mail. It sets out the current position on stamp prices and then includes some comparative and historical information on stamp prices.
16.07.2014Privatisation of Royal Mail
The Note sets out the background to the privatisation of Royal Mail, the main elements of the Offer for sale of shares, the breakdown of the shares between the main shareholding groups, the proceeds from the sale, the progress of the share price since flotation, the debate about the valuation of Royal Mail including references to conclusions of the reports of the National Audit Office (NAO) and the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Select Committee.
15.07.2014TNT Post and Royal Mail: end-to-end competition in postal services
TNT Post are in direct competition with Royal Mail in parts of London, Liverpool and Manchester - they now provide a full 'end-to-end' service in these areas, delivering business post directly to the addresses of customers, and are said to be planning to expand. Royal Mail believe that this competition is a threat to the universal postal service they provide. This note explores the issues, possible responses and the position taken by Ofcom, the regulator, so far.

Research Papers

07.01.2011Postal Services Bill: Committee Stage Report Bill 120 of 2010-11 (as amended; Bill 78 as introduced)
The Postal Services Bill passed Second Reading in the Commons on 27 October. The Bill was considered in Public Bill Committee in 20 sittings, between 9 November and 9 December 2010. No Opposition amendments were agreed and only minor Government amendments were made to Clause 80 in Part 4 of the Bill.
25.10.2010Postal Services Bill [Bill 78 of 2010-11]
This Paper has been prepared for the Second Reading debate in the House of Commons of the Postal Services Bill. The Bill has four main parts. Part 1 provides for changes to the ownership structure of Royal Mail Holdings plc and its subsidiaries (including Post Office Ltd). Part 2 provides for Royal Mail's historic pension deficit to be transferred to government. Part 3 provides for changes in the regulatory arrangements for postal services and Part 4 provides for a 'special administration regime' should there be a risk to the universal postal service from the possibility of the provider becoming insolvent.
11.02.2000Postal Services Bill (Bill 54 of 1999/2000)
Postal Services Bill (Bill 54 of 1999/2000). House of Commons Library Research Paper 00/18.

Select Committee Reports

15.03.2011Postal services in Scotland.
Government response. Scottish Affairs Select Committee; Scotland Office report [Commons]
21.12.2010Postal services in Scotland.
Scottish Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
13.10.2009Post offices: securing their future.
Government response. Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee; Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee report [Commons]
15.07.2009Oversight of the Post Office Network Change Programme.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
23.06.2009Post offices: securing their future.
Business and Enterprise Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House welcomes the campaign by Citizens Advice Scotland and Citizens Advice Bureaux across Scotland to tackle unfair delivery practices for consumers in remote and rural areas; ...
That this House notes the importance of the vital community service provided by post offices in Northern Ireland; and further notes that they hold communities together, allowing customers ...
That this House notes with regret the decision by the Department for Work and Pensions not to award the green giro contract to the Post Office; furthernotes that there are communities ...
07.02.2011ROYAL MAIL (No. 2)
That this House recognises that the minimum requirements that make up the current universal postal service obligation on Royal Mail are an essential service for communities throughout ...
That this House calls on the Government to introduce legislation to make it a legal requirement that the profile of the reigning monarch must feature on all UK postage stamps regardless ...


  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses