A remote post

The post office has announced which post offices it intends to close in the Wiltshire and West Berkshire. The list includes three within Swindon: Westcott Place (Central), Cheney Manor Road (Rodbourne) and Guildford Avenue (Lawn). Just beyond the borough boundary, the post office in Toomers Garden Centre on Stone Lane, Lydiard Millicent, is also scheduled for closure.

The nearest branches for those affected will now be those in Commercial Road, Rodbourne Road in Even Swindon (the suggested alternative for Cheney Manor Road and Westcott Place, although parcels that could be left for collection at Westcott Place always seen to be deposited at the Old Town branch), Cavendish Square (the suggested alternative for Guildford Avenue … I can’t see that going down well with the residents of Lawn), Queens Drive and the main town centre branch in Sanford Street. Those displaced from Lydiard Millicent are recommended to use the Shaw Village Centre branch.

The main interest of the branch access reports for the urban offices seems to be whether their is a bus service between the closed and replacement offices… which is fine for those that live right by the soon-to-be-closed branches, and a fairly pointless observation for all others. For Westcott Place, the report states that ‘There is a bus stop located outside the branch.’ That’s true. What is not true is the statement ‘There is a frequent bus service between the two branches.’ There is no such thing: the bus stop outside Westcott Place Post Office is virtually disused. The reports were clearly written with zero local knowledge.

It is nice to see that Mrs Snelgrove has already stated her opposition to the closures, but given that is a result of a policy of her own party in government, which she always backs, regardless of local consequences it is difficult to believe this is more than empty rhetoric from her.

The consultation on the closure plans is open until 31 January 2008, though it appears to be of the We’re consulting because we have to but won’t take any notice of the comments type. Comments should be sent to:

Tim Nickolls
Network Development Manager
C/o National Consultation Team
Email: consultation@postoffice.co.uk.

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