Readers have spoken out against a decision to shut down Wakefield post office and move it to a nearby WHSmith store.
The Post Office announced plans to relocate the current service on the corner of Providence Street and Northgate earlier this year.
It’s another blow for our high street, as the Post Office helped support local businesses by bringing customers into the area.Mary Creagh MP
And after a six-week public consultation, it has confirmed it will go ahead with the closure and move the post office to the WHSmith shop in Trinity Walk shopping centre.
The company said the new branch would offer a seven day service and be open for 9.5 hours longer than it currently is.
But Express readers took to Facebook to express concern over the move. Julie Campbell said: “The WHSmith at Trinity is tiny. They wont cope with the queues.”
John Anderson agreed, writing: “The WH Smiths shop is not big enough to cope with the volume of customers that will use it if they make the journey down to Trinity.
“The other issue is local post offices are under threat all the time if they start to go what happens next, no service at all for the vulnerable and elderly who rely on theses facilities.”
And Chris Winterburn said: “Next they’ll be moving Pinderfields into the nearest branch of Claire’s Accessories.”
Wakefield MP Mary Creagh launched a petition against proposals to close the branch on her website. She said: “Over 200 people signed my petition to save the Crown Post Office, so I am disappointed to hear that the relocation to WHSmith is going ahead.
“It’s another blow for our high street, as the Post Office helped support local businesses by bringing customers into the area.
“I will work closely with both Post Office Ltd and WHSmith to ensure that neither customers nor long-serving staff lose out.”
Roger Gale, general manager for the Post Office’s Crown branch network said the change would “help to ensure the branch is commercially viable” and “protect post office services for customers in Wakefield”.
He said: “We are committed to remaining on high streets and at the heart of communities. We are making changes right across our network to enable us to do so.
“That means adapting to the needs of our customers, who want flexibility and choice about how and when they do business with us.”
And some readers praised the move, saying the new post office would be “much easier”, “more convenient” and “safer”.
New branch to open next month
The company said the new branch would offer the same range of services, except Biometric Enrolment for the Home Office, which will be available at Ossett post office. It will open from 9am until 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and 10am until 2pm on Sundays. The last day of service at the current branch is September 7 and the new post office will open the following day. Staff can transfer their employment to the new site.