Thousands of households across Britain may not receive deliveries until after 5pm under proposed changes by the Royal Mail.
As a part of plans to deliver parcels more quickly, the postal service will push some deliveries to a later time in order to keep up with next-day delivery options.
This means more than 100 areas of Britain will get their post at 5pm or later, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Around 17 of these areas may not receive post until 6pm, including parts of London, Cornwall, Cumbria, Wales and Scotland.
The service will also aim to deliver all letters by 5pm at the latest, rather than the current 4pm.
Next-day delivery services are one of the driving forces for the proposed change, as many online orders are placed late at night so bosses want postal workers to start later in order to allow time for ‘next day’ parcels to reach sorting offices.
But, union bosses are unhappy with the proposal. A spokesman for the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said: “The changes would see our members delivering up to five hours in the height of summer heat and in the darkness of winter.
“This is just one example of how Royal Mail are running down the postal service in the UK and why our members are balloting for strike action to defend it.
“Postal workers need and deserve the support of the public to win this battle.”
In response, a Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We are in discussion with the Communication Workers Union about moving start times later to meet the growing customer demand for more next day parcel deliveries, and to reduce our environmental impact by moving more mail by rail over time.
“More parcel companies are now delivering later into the evening to meet changing customer needs, and we are redesigning our network to deal with growing numbers of parcels, including investing in two new Super Hubs.
“As part of our ongoing planning and negotiation, we are exploring a number of changes that would mean that we would still deliver letters by 5pm, as opposed to by 4pm currently.”
They added: “We have made it clear that these proposals are all subject to negotiation and detailed design, and no plans have been finalised.”