The Royal Mail Heritage: Transport set of stamps reflects the movement of mail via methods of transport. The earliest method of transport for mail was by foot, but increased distance and a greater volume of letters led to the employment of horses. Even greater volumes of mail entailed the use of horse-drawn carts and then vans for road transport, as well as the early adoption of railways, while sailing ships carried the mail still farther, across the globe. These have been the favoured forms of mail transport for much of the past five centuries.
In the 19th century, inviting contractors to tender for mail routes proved very effective, and they provided the transport and drivers that operated to strict demands of time. The availability of fairly reliable second-hand vehicles following the First World War pushed forward the creation of state-owned fleets, while advances in air travel meant that letters and parcels could be delivered even faster. Today, mail continues to be carried throughout the day and night by land, sea and air.
Date of Issue:17 February 2016