Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP Tom Blenknsop today (2nd February 2015) called on national Post Office bosses to “rethink” their proposals to provide counter services during a fortnight shutdown for the Guisborough town centre post office.
“Later this month, the Guisborough Post Office will have to shut down for a complete refurbishment and modernisation. This, of course, is welcome. However, what is not welcome is that the Post Office have, in my view, extremely limited plans to provide an alternative service.
“In short, they are saying that people can use branches in places like Redcar, Skelton or Saltburn. Given the distance involved, this is a nonsense, even for car drivers. For people with no car, it simply cuts out any chance of accessing post office counter services. All the post office are promising is that they will put on a twice daily minibus service from Guisborough to Saltburn to take the trade from what is one of their busiest branches on Teesside.
“We have suggested time and time ago that there are alternatives. We know that the Post Office have, for example, mobile coaches converted to counter post offices which they could park up on Guisborough’s Westgate. Given that Guisborough is probably the busiest branch in our area, and probably has a footfall equal to some Crown Post Offices, I feel this is the only commensurate response they should make.
“They have raised objections to this, citing parking and mobile telephony issues. We said in reply that we had no problem in talking to Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council (as the highway authority) about reserving a space. This is done regularly for weddings and funerals at the nearby Methodist Chapel so I cannot see any problems personally. We also note the issue about mobile telecom links but Guisborough is a large settlement and I have never had complaints about mobile telecom services there.
“We have been in touch with the Post Office time and time on this, and despite promises to come back, they have failed to do so. I appeal to them at the 11th hour, to think again.”