Royal Mail workers flat-out before posting deadlines
Royal Mail staff are working to ensure millions of Christmas cards arrive on time in what is their busiest week of the year.
Workers at the Peterborough Mail Centre wore festive jumpers and Santa hats as they sorted through cards and parcels, with 1.34 million items processed on Tuesday alone.
More than 700 Royal Mail employees are based at the centre along with around 100 temporary workers.
There are some 20,000 Royal Mail temporary Christmas staff across the UK.
Mail volumes triple for Royal Mail at Christmas and planning begins in April.
Last year, Royal Mail delivered around 138 million parcels during the Christmas period.
While the service does not hold precise data for Christmas cards, the Greeting Card Association's most recent market report said around one billion Christmas cards were sold in the UK in 2016.
This comprised almost 100 million single cards and an estimated 900 million sold in boxes and packs.
The last posting dates for Christmas are Wednesday December 20 for second-class mail and Thursday December 21 for first-class.
Royal Mail recommends that people post early to help ensure cards, letters and parcels arrive in time for Christmas Day.