Basingstoke's MP and the Deputy Leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council have raised serious concerns surrounding plans to relocate the post office on London Road.
It was announced yesterday that the current facility could be moved into a WHSmith store in Old Basing Mall instead.
It's part of new deal across the country which is likely to affect 40 sites, but Maria Miller and Councillor Terri Reid have said the change would have a negative impact on services in the town.
The proposed relocation will be subject, to six-week local public consultation which will seek the views of local customers and stakeholders in line with Post Office’s Principles of Community Engagement. Dates will be announced when detailed plans are available.
Maria Miller MP said
“The post office on London Road is part of the fabric of the town and hub of activity at the top of town.
“Whilst many residents now use Post Office services online and where they are located in local shops, the central location of Basingstoke's main post office makes it a valuable asset in the town.
“If this is to move to WHSmith’s in Shopping centre, then this could adversely impact the top of town.
“Residents need to speak up and make their views heard as part of the PO consultation. I am particularly concerned that the town doesn't lose services currently on offer if changes are made.”
Cllr Terri Reid, Deputy Leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council said:
“This is a hugely concerning development. A move away from a dedicated Post Office to a franchised offer within a shop must surely mean a diminution of services and longer queues.
“The post office at the top of town is accessible by public transport and by car, and parking is free for the first hour there. Parking is not free in the Malls or Festival Place which therefore means reduced accessibility for those on lower incomes.
“And of course, this has huge implications for footfall at the Top of Town."