The 2nd class Faststamp will be available at Stampex from day 1 (20th) but roll-out to Post Office branches is not now expected until the summer. (Two 'values' - 2nd class, and 2nd class Large)
The Machin Faststamp will be available from 20th February with a new Stampex-only 'overprint' marking the 60th Anniversary of the Coronation. This will be available in the standard 6 values.
As usual payment at the public vending machines will only be possible via Credit or Debit Card. The machines will dispense singles, multiples, and collectors strips of 6 of the Coronation or Pond Life (or 2 for the 2nd class).
As usual other machines will be situated in the back office producing stamps to be sold 'over-the-counter', and dealers' pre-release orders. Items sold over-the-counter can be paid for in cash or by card. Single stamps will not be available over-the-counter, but collectors sets will be.
Our wesbite has been updated with special postmarks for the 2nd class and Pond Life faststamps and the Jane Austen issue. Stampex postmark designs have yet to be published.
UPDATE 31 January:
I do sometimes wish that Royal Mail had an interactive blog where they could field the questions that are posed by this blog and the comments it brings !
2nd class Faststamp - Back in November I wrote:
A new Machin Faststamp will be available from Post & Go machines printed blue with one phosphor bar for 2nd Class. They will be issued on the first day of Stampex (20 February) and start to be rolled out to Post Office branches in March. This means that they will first be available from Hytech machines (v2) and only later from Wincor-Nixdorf machines.
Further update for clarification: As 20 February is the first day of issue, the Bureau (Presentation) pack will be issued on that date!
In fact, we understand that the 2nd class stamps will only be installed in Hytech v2 machines, which (as previously reported) have two rolls of Faststamps and no Post and Go labels. This suggests it will only happen in offices which have several Post and Go machines.
Also as previously stated the intention of Post Office Ltd was to roll out the extension to branches in March, which is now postponed until later in the summer. This may be a software problem, it may be to do with the change in postal tariffs.
I have also read elsewhere that the Packet rate is to be suplanted into a changed set-up for Parcels. That isn't how I understood the information I read, but maybe the writer had a different source.
And just to reiterate, there will NOT be 6 stamps in a collectors strip of 2nd class as there are only two stamps available. (Somebody asked, "why not 6 though?" - well would you want to be forced to buy three sets when you only wanted one?)