MAIL deliveries are getting worse in the Huddersfield area, new figures show.
The amount of first-class post being delivered on time has fallen sharply.
Only last year the Royal Mail announced people living in the Huddersfield postcode area enjoyed the second quickest service in the UK.
Now the latest figures show it is not even meeting the national target of a 92.5% next day delivery success rate.
The figure has slipped from an impressive 94.8% to 87.2% - the fourth steepest drop in the country.
David Berry, a spokes- man for the Mid-Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is concerned the problems will continue to get worse and end up costing businesses thousands.
"Although last year the figures were promising we have noticed an increase in complaints recently," he said. "Many companies have paid large sums of money to make sure they get their mail on time and first thing in the morning. Increasingly this is not the case.
"Small and medium- sized companies can ill afford to be paying for a first-class service and not getting first-class delivery.
"We will certainly be keeping a very close eye on what is happening."
Sandy Needham, head of the West Yorkshire office of Postwatch, the mail service watchdog, said: "We want the Royal Mail to succeed because we want the consumer to get the best possible service.
"Huddersfield is an area of particular concern because only a year ago it was doing so well and now it has really gone downhill."
The Royal Mail announced yesterday it had missed all of its targets in the first quarter of the financial year. It also revealed it was paying out a record £50m a year in compensation for late delivery of post.