Steamship Company Awarded Longer Royal Mail Contract

skybus mail loadingThe Steamship Company will be carrying the Royal Mail for another five years. The contract held since 2012 is being renewed for a longer period.

It means the post will continue to be flown six days a week to and from the islands by Skybus, through Land’s End and St Mary’s airports.

And if there’s no flying because of bad weather, either the Gry Maritha or the Scillonian will be loaded with letters, parcels and packets.

That’s happened on a number of occasions in the last month due to poor flying conditions.

Andy Daintree, the Steamship Company manager who is based on St Mary’s, says the new contract means the company, “will continue to deliver the same level of service as now, which will include two collections a day on the off islands.”

The Swift Lady, which carries mail to the off-islands, was refitted and re-instrumented in 2013 after 7 years of service.

Until 2012, mail was carried on the British International helicopters.

In June 2012 the Royal Mail put the service out to tender after BIH management said that they didn’t wish to enter into a formalised mail contract, because their passengers came before freight. Skybus was awarded the contract.

Two months later, BIH announced that they were closing their helicopter operation to the islands.



5 Responses to Steamship Company Awarded Longer Royal Mail Contract

  1. Dave November 11, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    I’ll think you’ll find that the swift lady (mail boat) DELIVERS mail in the morning and COLLECTS Church town flowers. In the afternoon she then COLLECTS mail AND flowers again. The only days she just does mail runs are Fridays and Saturdays. And in between shipping the mail she is also used as a freight service for the islands.

  2. Adam Morton, St.Martins November 10, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Just wondering what the point is in two deliveries a day to the off islands?Its not like there’s time to reply and in this day and age most stuff is done online so its only really got to coincide with local mail order firms ?

    • Ian T. November 11, 2015 at 9:18 am

      The article says “two COLLECTIONS” a day – not deliveries, Adam. Two deliveries a day is a luxury that went out during the last century and rural postboxes usually only get one collection per day now..

      • Adam Morton, St.Martins November 12, 2015 at 9:30 am

        There aren’t two collections Ian, my point is why not make the delivery at the same time as the collection and put the money saved into insuring the mainland link? RM is constantly trying to dodge its universal service obligations which are a huge drain on its resources in places like this. Now our government has sold off the remaining share in RM it can only be a matter of time before the stakeholders realise there is they don’t actually have any obligation worth the paper its written on and start charging us the full £12 a letter or whatever it is that it costs!That would pretty much finish this island. One only has to look at courier service to see the true costs, you can blag a company into covering that cost once but inevitably every Ebay site displays the line “does not post to isles of Scilly” and every online company comes back with a massive surcharge, often more than the value of the goods.
        An objective transport committee would be taking all these sorts of things into account! Unless they secure a freight subsidy ,ALL mails will soon be prohibitive and make the Councils IT based future even more of a joke!
        If you want to get a subsidy then it behoves you to show that you have made every efficiency possible in your business plan and any easement will be used to maximum advantage.

  3. countrydweller November 9, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Talk about not having a monopoly,if they didnt bring the mail who else could. Whats the big deal about signing a new contract.