The cost of a first class stamp will go up by 15p from October, Royal Mail has announced.
From next month, a stamp will cost £1.25, more than doubling in price since 2012.
The delivery group said the business was facing “increasing cost pressures” and a “challenging economic environment”.
It also blamed the lack of reform of the so-called universal service obligation (USO) which forces Royal Mail to deliver letters six days a week to all 32 million addresses in the UK for the same price no matter where the letters are going.
The company said “urgent reform” was needed to the service obligation.
It said that the price of a first class stamp is now the same as the median price in Europe, and at 75p a second class stamp is cheaper than the 94p European average. The UK is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe.
Royal Mail’s chief commercial officer Nick Landon said: “We understand the economic challenges that many of our customers are currently facing and have considered the price changes very carefully in light of the significant decline in letter volumes.
“Letter volumes have reduced dramatically over recent years, down more than 60% from their peak in 2004/5 and 30% since the pandemic. It is vital that the universal service adapts to reflect this new reality.”
Royal Mail has been clear that “the cost of delivering an ever-decreasing number of letters to an ever-growing number of households six days a week is unsustainable.”
“Given the ongoing decline in letters, Royal Mail continues to call on Ofcom and the Government to review and modernise the USO to better reflect changing customer needs,” it said.