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Post Boxes

  • 27-08-2016 1:17pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 881 ✭✭✭ Bray Head


    [font=arial, sans-serif]I recently found myself in an unfamiliar part of the country with a letter to post in a hurry.[/font]

    [font=arial, sans-serif]I went to the An Post website to see if they had a list of where the post boxes are. This is not publically available, also confirmed by this thread: http://www.boards.ie/b/thread/2056395883/2?[/font]

    [font=arial, sans-serif]So I kept my eye open when driving about. [/font]

    [font=arial, sans-serif]They are very hard to spot. Dark green is not easy to pick out, especially in August in Ireland with so much vegetation. The large stand-alone boxes are easy to find but the small ones built into walls are anything but.[/font]

    [font=arial, sans-serif]Why can't they be painted something more sensible than dark green? I understand objections to colonial red but why not yellow as in many parts of Europe?[/font]

    [font=arial, sans-serif]Also, why are they not put in prominent places that many people would pass? Like busy bus stops, train stations, shopping centres or petrol stations? This is where parcel motel sets up/[/font]

    [font=arial, sans-serif]Another observation. They are heavily located in suburbs built 50 or 80 years ago but much less frequent more recently developed areas.[/font]

    [font=arial, sans-serif]Why does An Post make it so awkward for people to, you know, post letters?

    Who is in charge of this. Comreg or An Post?[/font]


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,857 ✭✭✭✭ Alun


    Interesting. It's not a situation I've ever been in, but to keep the location of post boxes a secret does seem a little odd to say the least, especially as the reason given is for "security reasons". It'd be hilarious if it weren't so ridiculous.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,201 ✭✭✭ ongarboy


    My pet gripe is when you see what you think is a post box and drive/walk over to it to post your letter only to discover it is some sort of public utilities box that looks and is painted in the exact same colour as a post box!

    What are those boxes used for and could they not be painted in any other colour??


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,050 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    They're boxes used to deliver post out to the bicycle postal staff.


  • Registered Users Posts: 881 ✭✭✭ Bray Head


    L1011 wrote: »
    They're boxes used to deliver post out to the bicycle postal staff.
    Would it not make sense to put a post box alongside?


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    Bray Head wrote: »
    Another observation. They are heavily located in suburbs built 50 or 80 years ago but much less frequent more recently developed areas.

    Why does An Post make it so awkward for people to, you know, post letters?
    Because, if An Post provides a postbox, they also have to provide a staff member who will travel to the postbox every day to collect what has been posted there. Postboxes are expensive to service.

    50 to 80 years ago, a majority of homes did not have phones, and nobody had access to texting or e-mail. People at home sent many, many times more letters than they do today, and it was feasible to provide a postbox within walking distance of every suburban home, because the postage on the volume of post inserted into each would cover the cost of servicing the postbox daily (or more frequently).

    An existing postbox needs an average of something like 40 items a day to be posted in it in order to be viable. Less than that, and An Post will begin to think about removing it. To install a new postbox, they'd be looking for a significantly higher projected number of mail items each day, since the postbox has to generate enough revenue to justify not just the cost of servicing it, but the cost of installing it in the first place.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,857 ✭✭✭✭ Alun


    Well, if they're reducing the number of them like that, then there's an even better argument for letting people know where the few remaining ones are located.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    Alun wrote: »
    Well, if they're reducing the number of them like that, then there's an even better argument for letting people know where the few remaining ones are located.
    Yes, I agree. The reluctance to make the locations of public post boxes as accessible as possible is just bizarre.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    Interestingly, in the UK Royal Mail also does not publicise postbox locators, but there are a number of privately-developed websites/apps which will do the job for you. Just google "postbox locator" or similar language. I don['t know where they get the dataset that they work off.

    Here in Australia, the Australia Post website has a search facility which will locate and map the postboxes in the vicinity of any address, and can identify the (separate) express post boxes if you want it to.


  • Registered Users Posts: 881 ✭✭✭ Bray Head


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    An existing postbox needs an average of something like 40 items a day to be posted in it in order to be viable. Less than that, and An Post will begin to think about removing it. To install a new postbox, they'd be looking for a significantly higher projected number of mail items each day, since the postbox has to generate enough revenue to justify not just the cost of servicing it, but the cost of installing it in the first place.
    I understand this. I just suspect there is a lot of inertia in the system. I would guess (casual inspection) that there are a lot more postboxes per capita in D6 than D24.


  • Registered Users Posts: 557 ✭✭✭ Mearings


    Could we not go back to the original post box colour?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 881 ✭✭✭ Bray Head


    Mearings wrote: »
    Could we not go back to the original post box colour?

    Yellow would be nice. It is not British, consistent with the rest of Europe and is visually identifiable.

    An Post could do with a re-branding too. Same logo since 1984 at this point.


  • Registered Users Posts: 405 ✭✭ McAlban


    Bray Head wrote: »
    Yellow would be nice. It is not British, consistent with the rest of Europe and is visually identifiable.

    An Post could do with a re-branding too. Same logo since 1984 at this point.

    I dunno, I think the current logo has stood the test of time. Most of Europe uses the Mail coach horn which is (more than a bit) outdated. the An Post Logo shows the Post Mark relevant in 1984, while having a nod to the P&T logo into the ST in Post.

    Look at the "success" of re-branding the other wing of P&T.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,125 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    McAlban wrote: »
    I dunno, I think the current logo has stood the test of time. Most of Europe uses the Mail coach horn which is (more than a bit) outdated. the An Post Logo shows the Post Mark relevant in 1984, while having a nod to the P&T logo into the ST in Post.

    Look at the "success" of re-branding the other wing of P&T.

    Or the rebranding of the Royal Mail across the water - Consignia.


  • Registered Users Posts: 405 ✭✭ McAlban


    Or the rebranding of the Royal Mail across the water - Consignia.

    Forgot about that. I bet certain people across the way wish they could too!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/2002480.stm


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    Bray Head wrote: »
    I understand this. I just suspect there is a lot of inertia in the system. I would guess (casual inspection) that there are a lot more postboxes per capita in D6 than D24.
    There would be. But that's because the D6 suburbs were developed about a hundred years before the D24 suburbs, at a time when usage of postage services was much, much heavier.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,201 ✭✭✭ ongarboy


    L1011 wrote: »
    They're boxes used to deliver post out to the bicycle postal staff.

    Ah, I learn something new everyday!:)

    As regards, less postboxes in newer suburbs, I get that modern communication methods mean less reliance on post but our suburb (Ongar built post 2000) got one installed a few years back due to complaints that the nearest one was in Clonee, Co Meath or else Clonsilla (both at least 2kms away). I probably only use it once or twice a year but it's still nice to have one local. Unless you were randomly driving through the village main street, you would not really stumble across it. It is an oddity that AnPost do not promote postbox location as they are constantly claiming about losing revenue - surely this is one small endeavour to make posting mail easier


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,702 ✭✭✭✭ BoatMad


    do people still post private letters , well I never

    The simplest solution would be to have the postman collect letters already stamped ( printed off from the internet ?) , its madness that a chap drives around every day and only just delivers,

    of course IR issues would kill that one


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    BoatMad wrote: »
    do people still post private letters , well I never

    The simplest solution would be to have the postman collect letters already stamped ( printed off from the internet ?) , its madness that a chap drives around every day and only just delivers,

    of course IR issues would kill that one
    What would kill that one is that you're erffectively requiring every housholder to erect, at his own expense, his own mini-postbox in which he can leave mail for the postman to collect. I can't see people who are unhappy about the paucity of postboxes regarding "build your own" as an acceptable solution.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,832 ✭✭✭ markpb


    Bray Head wrote:
    An Post could do with a re-branding too. Same logo since 1984 at this point.

    Considering the perilous state of their finances and the fact that rebranding is unlikely to encourage people to send extra letters or claim extra social welfare, I can't imagine why they'd bother.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 204 ✭✭ Chromosphere


    I have the Parcel Box thing installed at the house. You just put your letters in there (stamped) and the postman picks them up (if he is delivering).

    If you get post most days or if it's not a big rush, it's great.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,702 ✭✭✭✭ BoatMad


    I have the Parcel Box thing installed at the house. You just put your letters in there (stamped) and the postman picks them up (if he is delivering).

    If you get post most days or if it's not a big rush, it's great.

    Looked at that system. It's looks good , if rather expensive. My sort office is 10 mins away so benefits are somewhat muted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    ongarboy wrote: »
    I probably only use it once or twice a year but it's still nice to have one local.
    Awh nice to have it the same attitude lead to our shambolic bus network with stops every 200 metres


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,702 ✭✭✭✭ BoatMad


    Awh nice to have it the same attitude lead to our shambolic bus network with stops every 200 metres

    !!!!!!!!!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 204 ✭✭ Chromosphere


    BoatMad wrote: »
    Looked at that system. It's looks good , if rather expensive. My sort office is 10 mins away so benefits are somewhat muted.

    I was going to get some kind of postbox anyway, so just went with theirs.
    It's handy enough except only An Post use it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,702 ✭✭✭✭ BoatMad


    It's handy enough except only An Post use it.

    yes thats a pity , but then again most couriers will redeliver several times for free so the advantage is less obvious

    certainly if you are at some remove from a sorting office, its a big advantage


  • Registered Users Posts: 881 ✭✭✭ Bray Head


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Bray Head wrote: »
    I understand this. I just suspect there is a lot of inertia in the system. I would guess (casual inspection) that there are a lot more postboxes per capita in D6 than D24.
    There would be. But that's because the D6 suburbs were developed about a hundred years before the D24 suburbs, at a time when usage of postage services was much, much heavier.
    I get this.

    My point is the following. Shouldn't An Post have some criterion like one postbox per x inhabitants in urban areas and no dwelling further than y kilometres in rural areas?

    The current network (from what I can tell) is calibrated to where people lived 50 years ago, which is very different from today.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 204 ✭✭ Chromosphere


    You'd kinda of think they'd just put the boxes in places people go regularly.
    Like why not have a deal where there's a postbox on garage forecourts. They're a really obvious place with set down parking.

    You'd also expect one in every small and large shopping centre.

    That's why parcel motel use those locations.

    If there isn't any consistency, people just don't use the service.

    Also a major bug bear of mine is that when you need to actually use the postal services here, the queues are huge as the counter is basically used primarily as a social welfare payment office


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,701 ✭✭✭ BrianD3


    I am a post box nerd - I know the location and type of most boxes (mainly type C wall boxes) within a 10 mile radius of my house and many further afield too, There have been many closures of boxes in rural areas in the last 2-3 years in my experience. Boxes that have been in operation for 100 years or more have been blocked with an "out of service" sign and are rapidly being overgrown with foliage. It's not really surprising though - I would say that these rural boxes have been uneconomical to operate for many years. Still, they should be preserved as part of our architectural heritage and with them going out of service and becoming overgrown I can see this not happening.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 204 ✭✭ Chromosphere


    It can't be that expensive to operate. Surely the postman can collect small rural boxes without difficulty? Busy boxes in towns and cities obviously get fuller due to business mail and need to be specifically collected by van.

    Just make the collection times less prioritised like the Delivery Box you can get yourself.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    Bray Head wrote: »
    I get this.

    My point is the following. Shouldn't An Post have some criterion like one postbox per x inhabitants in urban areas and no dwelling further than y kilometres in rural areas?
    I don't know, but I suspect what An Post has is criteria about when (a) when to establish a new postbox, and (b) when to close/abandon/remove an existing one. And I suspect those criteria largely relate to the number of letters posted (or expected to be posted) in a box.

    And, since the fixed costs of establishing a new box are greater than the cost of simply continuing to service an existing one, you'd expect the they'd require a lot more letters every day to establish a new box than to continue to serve an existing one.
    Bray Head wrote: »
    The current network (from what I can tell) is calibrated to where people lived 50 years ago, which is very different from today.
    If the criteria are as I have suggested, this is the outcome you would expect, because there'd be a large amount of inertia in the system.


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