Campaigners today formed a ‘Queue to save Brunswick Town Post Office’ as part of a lunch-time protest at the threatened branch. The action aimed to demonstrate the threatened branch’s popularity and cause it to sell out of 2nd class stamps
The ‘queue’, which extended along Western Road, was joined by local ward councillors, Ollie Sykes and Phélim Mac Cafferty, who have both been active in the campaign for the start. Huge support is evidenced by 7,400+ signatories on a petition calling for the branch in Western Road to be saved. Post Office Ltd has indicated that they will ignore the petition, saying they will only take into account comments made in response to their formal consultation.
Councillor Sykes has, in response to this, written to the Post Office outlining concerns shared across the neighbourhood. He has urged other customers to do likewise, using his response as a template. The consultation closes on Wednesday 16th September, so time is running out to make views known.
In his response Cllr, Sykes complains about the alternative provision suggested by the Post Office. He writes: “The Melville Road branch is not suitable or accessible for many people, in particular those with mobility problems. It is just under a mile from the Western Road branch and up a significant incline. There is no direct bus route and to get there by bus one needs to change at Churchill Square, with an overall return journey time in excess of an hour. The branch at Churchill Square WH Smiths is notorious for long queues – which would be exacerbated by closure of the Western Road branch – and is in the basement of the shopping centre so with its own access problems. One branch a mile to the west on Church Road is one bus ride distant but is a small branch and already busy.”
Cllr Sykes added: “Given the strength of local feeling against this closure, my suggestion is that the closure proposal be rejected and the branch at 22 Western Road be maintained. The strong public feeling about this should translate into interest in using Post Office services so a future step should involve discussions about improving the service at this branch to benefit both local customers and the Post Office.”
Cllr Sykes said: “Local residents have many ideas about development of our Post Office into a viable business and I think it would be appropriate for the Post Office to listen to these.”