ACCESS NOTICE: Updating the Baseline Year for National Price Plan One
The Baseline Year is a 12-month period we use to measure Royal Mail’s posting profile, from which we then set the National Spread Benchmark and Urban Density Benchmark of National Price Plan One. The current Baseline Year is 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016.

Some customers have understandably suggested that we should be using the most up to date data to ensure that Royal Mail’s profile reflects the use of mail services, and accordingly we are updating the Baseline Year to 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019. Additionally, with the significant increase in barcoding levels over the past few years, we can now use Mailmark data, to determine the Royal Mail profile, providing even greater assurance on the accuracy of our profile.

When will the change take effect from?

We would like the change to the Baseline Year to be effective from 1 April 2020 (see Access Letters Contract Change Notice 055 appended to this letter). The Access Letters Contract requires us to provide 190 days’ notice to amend the Baseline Year. This means we would have had to provide notice to you by 23 September 2019, which we were unable to meet. This is a change that some of our customers tell us is important to them. Therefore we seek consent from all our Access customers to introduce the change on a shorter notice period than required under the Access Letters Contract, but still in excess of the regulatory minimum notice period of 70 days required under USPA 7.4 of the USP Access Conditions.

If we receive unanimous consent from all our Access customers by 23 December 2019, the change will become effective from 1 April 2020. If we do not receive consent from all customers by 23 December 2019, we will not be able to proceed with the change. We will confirm by email whether we have received unanimous consent or not by 24 December 2019.

If you are an Access Letters Contract holder, to provide your consent please sign the annex of the customer letter and return to by 23 December 2019.

Update 16th December 2019
National Spread Benchmark and Urban Density Benchmark for National Price Plan One, set using the 2018/19 Baseline Year, attached for reference here.

We have produced a deck that explains how the Price Plan Benchmarks are constructed. You can find it here.