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Less mobile hit by Post Office closure

PUBLISHED: 18:17 30 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:33 03 July 2010

Kenneth King, who is concerned at post office closure

Kenneth King, who is concerned at post office closure

RESIDENTS who regularly used the Beccles Road Post Office were stunned to find its doors closed and barred.

Sheila Russell, 66, of Beccles Road, visited the branch regularly to collect her pension and buy stamps.

Sheila Russell

RESIDENTS who regularly used the Beccles Road Post Office were stunned to find its doors closed and barred.

Sheila Russell, 66, of Beccles Road, visited the branch regularly to collect her pension and buy stamps. She likes sending letters, even though she has internet access.

She told the Mercury: “It is a very sad day. We are all striving to keep Post Offices alive and the government has at least agreed that maybe it ought to keep some of them.

“But this vital Post Office has been shut down even though it is at the centre of the community. If they can find another shop for it in the village then that will mitigate the effects of it, but it is still a very sad day.”

She believed there was a lack of appreciation of how important the local Post Office was to the elderly, very often providing their only point of contact with other people during the day.

Raymond Browne, 75, of Chestnut Avenue, called in at the branch three times a week for tasks such as paying bills and said it was convenient because he did not have to cross the road to get to it from his home.

He feared there was a lack of parking at the Premier store which could lead to traffic chaos - and the store was near a busy school crossing point.

He said: “Magdalen Way is a busy road. I don't fancy having to cross it to get to the Post Office.”

Kenneth King, 80, of Lord's Lane, suffers arthritis and is wheelchair-bound and he used the Post Office to collect his pension.

He welcomed the move to the Premier store, but feared there would not be enough parking space nearby.

However, he was angry the branch had been closed before any new Post Office had been opened in the village.

He was going to have to take a bus ride to carry on his personal business and travel into either Gorleston or Great Yarmouth.

Joe Rochard, 67, was hoping to post recorded mail to Lincolnshire from his employer the Wheelchair Service but was surprised to find the bars up at the Post Office.

He said: “The trouble is we just keep losing them. It is like pubs - use them or lose them - but with the Post Office we are still losing them even though we are using them.”

And Steve Secker, 35, of Long Lane, had made a special visit to the branch on Tuesday this week to find out how much it would cost to send a weight board through the post. The civil engineer, who works for Bateman Groundworks, said: “It is very important, especially for the elderly. It is a long walk to the next nearest branch. I wouldn't want to walk it, I would drive there.”

There was anger too from former borough and county councillor Trevor Wainwright. He slammed the closure decision, saying: “It is not satisfactory for a village the size of Bradwell not to have a Post Office. Bradwell desperately needs one because it is a big village.

“It is difficult to get to Gorleston because the bus service is not terribly good and it is difficult to find parking.”

Mr Wainwright preferred any new Post Office branch to be housed in the village's Rainbow Foodstores because he was concerned about the parking situation at the Premier site.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Write to Letters, The Mercury, 169 King Street, Great Yarmouth NR30 2PA or email anne.edwards@archant.co.uk

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