If you go anywhere in the UK you’ll find local people complaining that their nearest Post Office has closed and they now have to go a nearby town to post parcels etc. The rural Post Office network has been decimated. 2,500 sub-Post Offices closed between 2008 and 2009. Its urban counterpart has followed suit in a massive “beechinglike” cost cutting exercise.
This week I arrived at the post office near to my work to discover a sign on the door explaining that as part of the Broadgate redevelopment the Broadgate Post Office would close. I don’t think anyone can have much to say about that, frankly if the site of the post office is being redeveloped it makes sense for the Post Office to close. Temporarily.
What I do have a problem with is the proposal that the closure be permanent. The Broadgate Post Office is always busy. It’s rammed with people who, like me, fill in forms, buy stamps, get passport photos taken, drop off a variety of parcels and get their foreign exchange etc. I often queue for 15-30 minutes for service. However, Post Office Limited feels that this particular post office isn’t required (translation: the rent is a bit high) and that they would rather “upgrade” the Houndsditch post office instead. The clue is in the post code for the Houndsditch post office, E1… No doubt the rent is far more reasonable. Undoubtedly the case for closure was made without considering the online revenue from people who buy postage and then drop it off at the Post Office on the basis those people would buy postage anyway, regardless of where they need to drop it off. This is stupidity of the highest order. It’s 15 minutes to walk to the Houndsditch post office from where I work. I can get to a (often more reasonably priced) collect+ drop off point in the same time – which do you think I will use?
Royal Mail, previously the parent of the Post Office has just decided to create 1,000 new jobs in its expanding parcels business. I have news for you guys, to keep shipping parcels people need to be able to drop them off somewhere reliable and trustworthy. Somewhere a bit like a Post Office. Otherwise, people simply won’t bother.
I would have no problem with closing the Broadgate post office if it was always empty. Similarly, if they stated the closure was temporary and a nearby site would be found it would be fine. But closing a very busy Post Office is just crass and dumb. I visit the Post Office near where I live maybe 4-5 times a year as opposed to 30-40 times a year for the Broadgate Post Office. I’m afraid, when a lunch hour is 45 minutes at best and 10-15 minutes at worst, a 15 minute walk just doesn’t cut it…
However, there is slim hope. A consultation on the proposal to close the Broadgate Post Office runs until 9 April 2013. If, like me you happen to use the Broadgate post office and think this is the dumbest idea you’ve heard in a while, please feel free to let the Post Office Communication and Consultation Team know via:
Post – FREEPOST PO Consultation
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Customer Helpline 08457 22 33 44
Textphone 08457 22 33 55
If you lack inspiration as to what to write to the consultation, here is a suggested email:
I understand there is a proposal to close the Crown Post Office located at Broadgate Circus in the City of London permanently. I can understand it may need to be closed temporarily while the site is redeveloped but the presence of the Post Office at Broadgate is an important amenity. It is often very busy indeed.
An alternative 14 minutes walk away is not an acceptable alternative. For these reasons I would be opposed to the permanent closure of the Crown Post Office located at Broadgate Circus.
Best regards etc