Nearest Postbox

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Mar 26, 2020 We understand the importance of being able to keep in contact with our family and friends at this critical time, especially for the most vulnerable people in our communities. As we make plans to remai. Use this helpful postbox finder widget to find your nearest postbox (it may take a few seconds to load). It uses your current location and gives you directions to your closest letterbox. But Royal Mail had refused to reinstall the postbox, which was the closest box to the Boyd Road Poole Housing Partnership (PHP) sheltered housing complex. Find your nearest Delivery Office if you need to collect a missed delivery, or your local Post Office branch if you need to buy postage.

If you’ve ordered a postal test, the process couldn’t be simpler. Your testing kit will arrive with a leaflet of information, which includes clear and detailed information on what exactly you will need to do.

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While the test itself is relatively simple, sending your sample back can be tricky, as you need to find a ‘priority postbox’.

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So what is a priority postbox, and how can you find your nearest?

Here's everything you need to know.

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What is a priority postbox?

(Image: Royal Mail)

Where is my nearest postbox

What is a priority postbox?

The Royal Mail describes itself as a “key partner for the government's coronavirus testing programme.”

'We are collecting completed test kits from priority postboxes or from homes as part of the government programme,” it’s said.

It’s likely you’ll be asked to post your completed coronavirus test kit to one of Royal Mail’s 35,000 specially selected priority postboxes. These can be identified by the NHS/Royal Mail sticker affixed to them.

If you are expecting your local postbox to carry such a sticker, but you arrive to find it does not, you can still use it, though Royal Mail requests you let them know by calling 0345 266 8038 Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm.

There's nothing else special from a visual standpoint about these post boxes other than their stickers.

How does a priority postbox work?

The idea behind priority postboxes is that the Royal Mail can use them to get completed test kits back to the NHS as quickly as possible.

Designating certain post boxes as priority ones can also help to reduce the number of post boxes that are used to collect coronavirus samples.

This means fewer postboxes come into contact with the virus, thus minimising the risk of spreading the infection.

Royal Mail says it has worked “in partnership with the Chief Medical Officer to ensure that the process is safe for our colleagues.”

How do I find my nearest priority postbox?

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(Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Post box map

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Details on how to find your nearest priority postbox are laid out clearly in the instruction booklet that arrives with your test kit.

But if you’re still having trouble, you will also be able to find your nearest priority postbox on the Royal Mail app or the Royal Mail website.

If you’re unable to access a computer or smart device, you can call 0345 266 8038.

This line is open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday.

For more information on the Royal Mail’s priority post boxes, head to the website

A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, the Scotsman

Use this helpful postbox finder widget to find your nearest postbox (it may take a few seconds to load). It uses your current location and gives you directions to your closest letterbox.

Nearest Postbox Ireland

Royal Mail isn’t the only letter delivery service – you can save up to 35%! of the cost of second class stamps if you post a letter with Whistl instead – click here for more information on how to post a letter with Whistl via Parcel2Go.

For more details about sending a letter including information on the types of letters, what qualifies as a letter, posting options and purchasing stamps, please see our letter guide and for information on envelopes see our envelope guide.

A brief background to the data behind this postbox finder tool

This tool to find your nearest postbox is only possible as Royal Mail was forced to disclose the location of all of its 116,000 postboxes by the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act.

In 2007 the Cabinet Office commissioned a report call “The Power of Information” which had the goal of better using the data that the government held to promote both economic and social good. The primary issue was that a lot of the government’s data is held by different departments and spread out amongst various sections of the civil service and public sector bodies.

To try and generate ideas to access and better use this data in 2008 the Cabinet Office launched the “Show Us a Better Way” competition to get the public to submit their ideas so the government could “improve health, education, justice or society at large” using their data.

The postbox location idea was put forward by a lady called Jenny Ingram, who was one of the six winners of the competition, so we would like to say thank you Jenny! Without you the postcode finder tool would not be possible!

A series of Freedom of information requests followed, which revealed both the postcodes of the postboxes as well as their collection times. A crowdsourcing effort then pinpointed every postbox in the UK on an openly licensed map.