Chippenham town centre Post Office set to move into convenience store (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Chippenham town centre Post Office set to move into convenience store
Plans to move Chippenham’s Post Office a few doors down to the One Stop are underway
The Post Office, now at 41 to 43 in the Market Place, will be moved as part of a national plan to convert 6,000 branches to a “new style”.
Local consultation on the plans has started, and Chippenham Town Council will consult on the application at the planning and environment committee on August 2.
In a letter sent to the town council, field change advisor for the Post Office Neil Jenkins said: “If the move goes ahead the branch will change to one of our new main style branches.
“The move of this branch is part of a three year investment and support programme, the largest in the history of Post Office Ltd, which will see around 6,000 branches (about half the Post Office network) converting to new style branches.
"Our aim is to create a more modern and convenient retail experience for customers, which will include longer opening hours. This investment means there will be no forther programme of branch
closures planned and the Post Office network will be maintained at its current size, making sure Post Office Ltd products and services remain at the heart of communities across the UK.”
Mr Jenkins has assured customers that the same products and services will be on offer.
Coun Nina Phillips, who sits on the planning and environment committee, said: “On the face of it, it seems like a sensible idea.
“However, I don’t really know how to feel about it yet. For some people, it will make their lives harder - for example, the Faresaver bus that travels through the Ladyfield Road area stops outside The Citadel in Bath Road for the town centre. Those who use that bus will have even further to walk.
"A lot of elderly people use the post office for their pensions and benefits, so that seems like it will be harder for them.”
Coun Phillips said was also concerned about the number of people using the service.
She said: “What on earth would happen during the busy Christmas period?
“Where is everybody going to queue? I do have some serious questions that need to be asked about this idea.”
The Post Office is currently open from 9am until 5.30 on six days a week, but if a counter opens in the One Stop, the service plans to be open from 7am until 10pm Monday to Sunday.
There will be five serving positions, which will be a mixture of screened and open plan, with a Post Office serving point provided for use at the retail counter and available during shop opening
A Post Office spokesperson said: “The service currently in place at 41-43 Market Place, Chippenham, has been a temporary solution to provide services in the area whilst we worked to find a
permanent location for the branch.
“The proposed move to One Stop Convenience Stores at 28-29 Market Place will secure Post Office services to the area in the longer term and will enable us to offer longer opening times as well as a
more modern and retail experience for customers.”
The Post Office is now looking for Chippenham people to comment on the plans.
The consultation ends on August 28, and the proposed month to begin the changes to the building will be in September or October this year.
For more information, email email@example.com, or call 0845 722 3344.