THE Royal Mail is trialling a new delivery service for parcels in Swindon - but it is understood the postal workers’ union is not happy with the plans.

Large and next-day packages will be delivered separately by van during the trial so that postmen and women delivering door-to-door around the town don’t have to carry heavy and bulky items around their routes.

But the Communication Workers Union is against the trial due to concerns over Parcelforce workers.

A Royal Mail spokesman said: “Royal Mail is disappointed that CWU has opposed this trial. The company proactively asked the union for mutual interest talks aimed as a precursor to negotiations.

“In order to get these talks underway, we agreed to defer the TUPE transfer of Parcelforce employees as well as agree that the dispute resolution processes in respect of the CWU’s point of principle dispute have been concluded.

“In return we asked for the union support in carrying out a number of key initiatives. Deployment of the trials was already agreed in line with Royal Mail’s 2018 agreement with the union.

“This support has not been forthcoming so we are moving ahead following the completion of the dispute resolution process.”

The operational trial is designed to test the best way for Royal Mail to collect, process and deliver next day parcels and larger items more appropriate for van delivery. The trial will extend to other locations throughout February 2020.

The trial is designed to capitalise on the growth of ‘night owl’ shopping and the increase in the number of bigger items.

“It will make it easier for postmen and women to deliver their usual round as heavy, bulky items will no longer be in their mailbag.

The Adver approached the Communication Workers Union for comment but could not get a response before deadline.

The Royal Mail spokesman added: “Change is essential if we want to remain one of the UK’s largest employers, with the best terms and conditions in our industry.

“Unlike many of our peers, who operate in the gig economy, over 99 per cent of Royal Mail employees are on permanent contracts.

“Royal Mail wants to invest £1.8 billion in a programme designed to grow its UK business.

“It will focus on customer service improvements, digital initiatives, network enhancements and new ways of working to deliver more productivity and efficiency. .