Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Shocking plans to close Launceston Post Office

I have uncovered plans by Royal Mail to close Launceston Post Office and move it to a new base outside the town centre. There is a total lack of public consultation and that the likely new location is all but inaccessible to pedestrians.

Until a year ago, Launceston had two post offices - in the town centre and at Newport. In addition, there were numerous post office services in the villages around the town. Since the last round of closures, the people of Launceston have had to rely on the main town post office and part time or home services in some villages.

I am told that they have been unable to find a permanent postmaster who can make a profit. I understand that they have considered other locations in the town centre but have been unable to find anyone to take the business on.

The current thinking is that the post office will move to the empty Newport Grill building. Royal Mail say that they have secured parking and that the building is accessible to disabled people. However I also understand that another location in the Newport area is also under consideration. It seems amazing that just a year after closing Newport Post Office they are planning to move back to that area.

This is a shocking development just a year after the last round of post office closures which decimated the service in North Cornwall. It has been apparent to all local residents that the current situation was unsatisfactory, but the loss of the town centre post office will hit local people very hard.

A post office in Newport will be very difficult for many Launceston residents to reach. The area is fairly inaccessible to pedestrians and lacks footpaths. I am also concerned that there may well not be enough parking for all customers. Customers using public transport will also find a Newport Post Office difficult to reach.

It will also be another nail in the coffin of town centre shops as even more potential customers are forced to go out of town.

Together with my colleague Sasha Gillard-Loft, I'm calling for a full public consultation by Royal Mail before these plans are allowed to go ahead. We are also planning to use the new Community Area Network Panel to hold an inquiry into the proposal.


Jo Bradford said...

This is bad news for local tradespeople like me - I post my art from Launceston Post office and will now have to trek elsewhere to do so :(

John Smith said...

Given that the Post Office network has already been decimated in the Launceston area, I unfortunately wouldn't be surprised if it does get moved out of the town centre to Newport. What happened to the days when the post office was a reliable local service?!

If it does move, perhaps it adds more weight to the cliff railway plans - as does the proposed cycle trail?

gordon said...

Launceston is not the only Post office in this situation. I was the franchise postmaster of a very large office in the west of the county and we failed to make any profit and had to give up the contract with devistating effects for the town and our own lives. The Post Office only look after Crown offices and to hell with sub-offices and franchised offices. If their is to be some form of enquiry details of how we were treated by the Post Office may be of interest.