Extra mail deliveries for Christmas
Royal Mail has announced extra Christmas deliveries to cope with an estimated online shopping sales boom.
The service said it expects to deliver a record 165 million items ordered online in time for Christmas.
Extra delivery rounds will be made on the morning of Sunday December 19 and between 6pm and 9pm on December 22 and 23 to give customers a second chance to accept parcels Royal Mail was unable to deliver during standard deliveries.
It will also extend the opening hours of all Royal Mail's 1,400 delivery offices for two weeks from December 13.
The hours will vary from office to office but the largest and busiest will remain open until 7.30pm during the week and 5.30pm on December 19.
Royal Mail spokesman Mike Brown said: "Royal Mail is prepared for its biggest online Christmas ever and has taken steps to help people get their items as conveniently as possible, even if they are not at home when we first try to deliver.
"The majority of items ordered online are delivered first time but we have put in place a package of measures to help people who are not home to receive the item in cases where it is too big to go through the letterbox or requires a signature."