NEW rules on drivers' hours will have minimal impact on postal deliveries, Royal Mail assured Huntingdonshire businesses this week. The regulations, which implement an EU directive, extend tachograph rules to vehicles between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes. They came into effect last month. Postal workers feared changes to working arrangements at Huntingdon delivery office to accommodate the regulations would result in later and partial deliveries to companies. "Where only a few years ago almost all mail in Huntingdon, especially the industrial estates, was delivered before 9.30am, it is unlikely mail will start being delivered before 10am," one worker, who wished not to be identified, told The Hunts Post. "As a sop to businesses in Huntingdon itself, a small handful of mail may be delivered to each address on the industrial estates between 8am and 10am. The rest will arrive nearer midday. "As the Huntingdon delivery office deals with mail for the industrial estates in Huntingdon, Godmanchester, Sawtry, Kim-bolton and Warboys and many other areas with postcodes PE28 and PE29, this will obviously affect the businesses in all these areas." Not so, said Royal Mail spokesman James Taylor. The service will actually improve. Five delivery rounds of company mail will continue to leave the office at 8am. One, which until a month ago left at 7.45 or 7.50, will now also start at 8am. "This is to catch an incoming despatch, so those firms will get mail that they would not otherwise have got until the next day. We hope it will be an improvement in the quality of service." Domestic deliveries to urban households would continue to start at 8am, though there was now a similar start time for rural deliveries - an hour later than previously, Mr Taylor added. "This is to fall in line with the slightly later letter arrival, but mail will still be delivered well within the 2pm quality of service specification for urban deliveries and 3pm for rural deliveries. The actual times depend on the volume of mail on the day," he explained. Domestic deliveries make up a total of 60 "walks" from the Huntingdon office. Similar arrangements will apply to other delivery offices in the district, Mr Taylor added.