SDLP Mid Ulster MLA, Patsy McGlone has said he is deeply concerned at reports that Magherafelt and Maghera have been identified as Royal Mail 'blackspots'.
He said they were two of 28 areas identified across the UK, and the only area in Northern Ireland, where residents are experiencing lengthy delays in receiving mail.
In a statement published with the list on its website, Royal Mail said it was working hard to deliver the most comprehensive and high quality service they can to all its customers despite the pandemic and the associated rise in pressure on delivery resources due to increased online shopping.
Mr McGlone said he has contacted the Health Minister today to ensure that the Trust source alternative means of contacting elderly and vulnerable residents to provide them with key information about their COVID vaccination date.
“I was deeply concerned to read reports that Magherafelt and Maghera districts are Royal Mail blackspots and are experiencing delays in receiving mail.
"While I recognise that Covid-19 has led to reduced staff numbers and online shopping has added significant pressure to Royal Mail, residents in BT45 and BT46 should receive their mail in a timely manner.
“While I acknowledge the hard work and long hours of local post workers, this situation is far from acceptable. I will be contacting Royal Mail to see what plans they can put in place to relieve the local pressure and provide some urgent clarity for residents.”
Mr McGlone said the situation would be distressing at any time, but is particularly worrying when many elderly residents are waiting on a letter informing them about the Covid vaccine.
"It is absolutely vital that the Northern Trust put in place a satisfactory means of communication, to ensure some of our most vulnerable citizens don’t miss out.
“Residents in South Derry desperately need clarity on this and I have already made representations to the Minister and Royal Mail.”
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