New post boxes are to be introduced into rural areas of Northern Ireland under plans announced by Royal Mail.
Collection times at thousands of post boxes are also to be brought forward under a move that will see mail picked up by delivery staff during their rounds.
Royal Mail said the changes will ensure it is able to maintain its estate of 115,000 post boxes, despite a 33% drop in volumes since 2005.
Between 45,000 and 50,000 of its post boxes will move to the earlier collection time – typically 9am to 3pm – although the company has pledged there will still be a late posting box within half-a-mile. It has also said it will introduce 2,000 new boxes in areas of under-provision, particularly in rural parts of Northern Ireland and Scotland.