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Royal Mail red letterbox on bridge

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Royal Mail red letterbox on bridge

Royal Mail red letterbox on bridge


At a time

External mailboxes for coastal environments

Monday, August 5th, 2013

External mailboxes for coastal environments

External mailboxes for coastal environments


With over 15 years experience in the letterbox industry, we know that certain postboxes lend themselves better to certain environments. Post Boxes UK prides itself in offering a wide range of units for a wide range of external applications.

We understand that for a high risk city centre environment, a more robust postbox solution may be required. And for external

Banks of letterboxes for housing developments and estates?

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Banks of letterboxes for housing developments and estates?

Banks of letterboxes for housing developments and estates?


With the Royal Mail seemingly forever looking at reducing costs without reducing their level of service, the future of mail delivery in the UK is as uncertain today as it has ever been. Add a dash of privatisation and who knows what could happen?!

The advantages of banks of letterboxes in communal entrance and lobby areas of apartment blocks is immediately apparent. The cost to the Royal Mail, and subsequently the sender and the receiver of the mail, is significantly reduced when the postman or post woman only spends 5 minutes delivering to a bank of letterboxes rather than 10 minutes by walking to each front door within the same block of flats.

Any business which could potentially reduce one of its significant costs by half would press for such measures. But the Royal Mail is understandably cautious on reducing a level of service which has been part and parcel (sorry!) of every day life for hundreds of years. (Since 1660 in one form or another).

To look at it another way, what if the Royal Mail already delivered mail to a central delivery point on each housing estate, on each road, and in each city in the country. Imagine the uproar if they announced that they would change from central residential mailboxes to deliver letters to each residents door, but that the cost of sending that piece of mail could cost the sender double?

And so, one would expect in time that new housing developments, as well as apartment, student accommodation and mixed-use schemes, will increasingly have central banks of letterboxes incorporated into their planning, rather than letter plates in each front door.


Multiple Benefits

The cost of mail delivery is the major benefit here. The cost savings are obvious.

But it is not just the Royal Mail and their customers who would benefit from such a proposal. Not having a letter plate in a front door has long been championed by the Police and crime prevention groups such as Secured By Design. The widely held belief is that a letter plate is the weak point on a front door. Would be thieves look through letter plates of potential target’s homes and then use a variety of techniques to carry out their crimes via the letter plate.

Removing the letter plate would seem to make sense then.




Letter plate or post box? Which is the most secure?



There is also the potential of an increased sense of community. In an age when more of us are becoming less involved in the communities in which we live, a communal area which houses a bank of letterboxes for a new housing estate may be seen as a way of bring the local people together, a place to meet and chat, where residents could get up to date issues regarding their communities.


The downsides

There are however some obvious concerns with having centralised banks of letterboxes. The first is security of mail. The letterboxes must be secure. Whilst no letterbox infallible, there are plenty of secure letterboxes available on the market – take a look at our range of anti-theft letterboxes to see what we mean.

Access is another issue. The Royal Mail would prefer the boxes to be as close to a main road as possible not help minimise delivery costs. Residents would want the letterboxes to be easily accessible by both car and by walking.

And the good old British weather. Most of us take for granted the convenience of not having to venture outdoors in a force ten gale to collect our letters. So having to pop out to our letter box just to collect the odd utility bill would seem too much of an inconvenience.



What next?

The greater inconvenience however is that the Royal Mail is an inefficient service. As the costs of sending letters and parcels goes up, so do the number of complaints, whilst the levels of service go down. It is for this primary reason that the Government is looking to privatise the Royal Mail. However, Post Boxes UK also believes that communal banks of letterboxes for new build housing estates (as a minimum) may become the norm, and that this may even give rise to similar banks of mailboxes for existing housing developments.




Height of letter boxes and DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliance

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Height of letter boxes and DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliance


When specifying letter boxes for a building project, a common concern is that of the height of the letter boxes in order to comply with the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act). Whilst there are no guidelines or official requirements set out for letter boxes, it could be considered that mailboxes in communal lobby areas are subject to the same access considerations as toilet and sanitary access for disabled users.

In accordance with the DDA, architects, designers and specifiers must address the needs of disabled users by providing reasonable access to public facilities and services. Accordingly, Post Boxes UK looks at the needs of disabled residents in relation to mailbox access.

The DDA and EN13724

As part of European Norm EN13724, it is suggested that the aperture of a mailbox be positioned between 600mm and 1800mm from finished floor level (FFL). This is not a legal requirement and Post Boxes UK has known clients specify banks of mailboxes which do go virtually to FFL.

However this is not practical for the majority residents; one might say it is unreasonable. So subsequently, EN13724 is a standard which is recommended and in a sense, reasonable. It therefore stands to reason that EN13724 adequately encompasses the requirements of the DDA.


Considering disabled residents

For the purposes of this exercise, and in terms of letterbox access, we have assumed that a disabled resident is one who uses a wheelchair. By doing so we have also assumed that the arms of the wheelchair are at a minimum height of 700mm FFL.

The following infographic shows a bank of 60 horizontal commercial mailboxes at a minimum height of 600mm FFL and a maximum height of 1800mm FFL. The yellow areas highlight approximate maximum common reaching zones for wheelchair users, whilst the green areas show approximate comfortable common reaching zones.



What height should letter boxes be positioned for disabled and wheelchair residents?


This may be of particular interest to readers (it was to Post Boxes UK) – the bottom two rows of mailboxes are not necessarily the most accessible for disabled residents. As the bottom of the letterbox may be below the typical wheelchair height of 700mm (as a minimum), a disabled resident may have to manoeuvre themselves to reach down into the letterbox.

These bottom rows of post boxes have usually been reserved for the needs of disabled residents, and this is not unreasonable. However, it should be considered that a letterbox for a disabled user be between (approx.) 800mm and 1200mm FFL, may be more user-friendly.

With 800mm to 1200mm considered as the comfortable common reaching zone, going over 1200mm is not desirable. As with reaching down, by going to a height of over 1200mm, a wheelchair user may have to stretch to reach their mailbox. Circumstances may dictate that there is no other option, and there is a maximum common reaching zone of approx. 1200mm to 1400mm FFL.

Certainly, positioning commercial letterboxes over 1400mm FFL is not considering the needs of disabled residents, and is unreasonable.


Further information

For further information regarding DDA (Disabled Discrimination Act) compliance, please visit some of the following websites:


The above article is intended to demonstrate and highlight the needs of disabled and wheelchair users and does not constitute technical or professional advice. Post Boxes UK cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions within this document or for any damages sustained as a result of advice given herein.

Postboxes for delivery in August. No summer shutdown here!

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Postboxes for delivery in August. No summer shutdown here!


Postboxes for delivery in August. No summer shutdown here!


As is typical this time of year (or at least whilst the sun is shining like it is), you will find that the majority of postbox manufacturers shutdown during the month of August. Post Boxes UK itself has the odd week here or there, but we’re never more than a couple of hours away from our emails and voicemail. And we too deal with a number of European manufacturers who without fail, take a minimum of 2 weeks production break as temperatures soar.


However, we also deal with other manufacturers who don’t shutdown during August. Those who just keep grinding away making postboxes come rain or shine.


So if you need to take delivery of commercial letterboxes for your project during July or August, or need a 2 to 3 week