Backlash to plans to move post office into WH Smith

News.
News.

Plans to relocate Boston’s main post office into WHSmith have met with a public backlash – with many calling the proposals ‘ridiculous’.

The organisation announced on Friday that it aims to move the branch from its current location in Wide Bargate – where it has been since 1907 – and relocate it 70 metres away to the back of the WH Smith store.

A Post Office spokesman said the move will ‘create a modern open-plan branch’ with opening hours extended by four hours a week.

However, the proposal has been met with public criticism about the size of the already ‘cramped’ shop and customers worried they will no longer get a first-class service.

Many are concerned WH Smith is too small and will result in big queues and a reduction in services.

On our website and Facebook page, readers let their feelings be known.

Terri Gregg wrote: “WH Smith is normally packed at the front of the shop with queues a mile long. Imagine the chaos with the post office queues as well. This is a disaster waiting to happen!”

Lee Holland said: “You can’t move in there as it is. Bad move!” and Kerry Green exclaimed: “Ridiculous!”

Sarah Dunbar wrote: “You can barely get a pushchair round there so how are they supposed to cope with wheel chairs?”

Coun Peter Bedford, leader of Boston Borough Council, said: “I would support any attempt to persuade the Post Office to stay where it is, but it seems it has made a purely commercial decision. All current services enjoyed by Post Office customers in Boston will be maintained.

“The Post Office building is iconic and it is important a new and suitable use is found for it. The council will assist in any way it can.”

A Post Office statement said there will be the same range of services and no compulsory redundancies as part of the transfer. The proposed new office will also have five ‘serving positions’.

A spokesman added: “The modernisation programme will make it easier for customers to do business, through longer opening hours and modern, open-plan environments.”

It’s not yet clear how the move will affect the layout of WH Smith, or what the future will hold for the current building which was purpose built for the service more than 100 years ago.

A WH Smith spokesman said firm does not wish to comment until the six week consultation is over.

Post Office Ltd has previously announced plans to convert the first and second floor of the building into 10 one and two bedroom flats.

A six-week public consultation started on Monday and will close on November 25, 2013. It is proposed the move will take place in February 2014 if agreed.

You can have your say online at postofficeviews.co.uk, by Freepost to Your Comments to Post Office Ltd, via email to comments@postoffice.co.uk, on 08457 223344 or Textphone 08457 223355.