UNION workers from Wrexham have voiced their anger at the decision to transfer mail from rail freight to other modes of transport.
Employees from Wrexham joined hundreds of other disgruntled workers at a mass parliamentary lobby, organised by the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union.
RMT spokesman Derek Kotz said the Save Mail On Rail rally was designed to force the Government to intervene and prevent Royal Mail's decision to end mail distribution by train.
The cost-cutting measures were announced last month, when Royal Mail revealed its 49 mail trains will be stopped completely in March 2004 because the rail network was too expensive and unreliable.
In future, all post will be distributed by road and air, bringing rail mail's 173-year-old history to a close.
The RMT's general secretary blasted the decision as a 'scandal', and claimed up to 500 jobs would be lost. He added: 'This is a cost cutting step too far, and if the Government has any self-respect left they will step in to stop it.
'The Government cannot stand by and watch Royal Mail put hundreds of thousands more lorries on the roads, at a huge cost to the environment and the taxpayer and threatening to clog already congested roads beyond breaking point.'
Wrexham AM John Marek has pledged his support for the protesting workers, and backed the RMT's call for an urgent review of the Royal Mail decision.
He said: 'It's a short-term and ill conceived policy that represents a direct challenge to the Govern-ment's own policy of increasing the use of freight on rail and developing a sustainable modern and integrated transport system.
'I, along with members of the RMT, note with dismay that the increased congestion of Britain's already busy road network will result in an estimated extra 30.5m lorry miles and the release of an additional 15 thousand tonnes of pollutants per annum.
'There will also be hundreds of job losses, more accidents on Britain's already heavily congested roads and the quality of mail service delivery across the UK will be threatened. Royal Mail, as a state owned company, must not be allowed to abandon the railways.'