Tens of thousands online shoppers may not receive deliveries in time for Christmas after snow and ice caused delivery problems for Royal Mail and all the main supermarkets in the worst affected areas.
Royal Mail said it was doing “everything possible” to ensure the post arrived on time, but the icy conditions meant some addresses were unreachable.
“More than 95% of Royal Mail’s operation is working completely normally, but in a very small number of areas some deliveries have been subject to disruption as the severe weather and road conditions mean that we cannot get to some addresses safely,” a spokeswoman said.
“We are keeping the mail moving and doing everything possible to deliver all letters and parcels by the latest recommended posting dates for Christmas.”
Tesco has put on extra staff in an attempt to ensure that orders are delivered on time. But a spokesman added: “It goes without saying that grocery deliveries in some areas have been impacted by the weather and treacherous driving conditions.”
Asda said some deliveries had been cancelled because of the conditions but deliveries would continue into Christmas Eve. “Clearly, the weather has led to issues in a small number of cases. We are doing everything we can to get deliveries to people,” it said.
Sainsbury’s said it had been forced to cancel some online orders. “Disruption to service has affected less than 1% of our orders in the past week, and we’ve been offering alternative delivery times where possible, said Tanya Lawler, the supermarket’s director of online. “Where we are unable to do so due to the high level of customer demand in the run-up to Christmas, we are informing those customers immediately so they are able to make alternative arrangements.”
Maggie Atkins, 73, from Overton, Hampshire, told the Daily Mail her online Tesco delivery had failed to arrive. “I was told my order was cancelled because of the weather,” she said. “I live alone and I can’t even hobble around a supermarket. I really think Tesco could have offered a priority service to the disabled.”
The online retailer Amazon said it expected goods ordered before 2pm today to arrive in time for Friday.
“Customer orders continue to be dispatched in time for Christmas delivery,” said a spokesman. “There may be a short delay to the arrival of some deliveries in the worst-affected areas, but all of these deliveries are expected to be made before Christmas.”