Burnley’s Post Office will close next month despite widespread public opposition.
The Crown branch in Hargreaves Street will close at 5-30pm on Wednesday, April 23rd, with the new branch opening at W.H. Smith the following morning – a move branded as “disgraceful” by campaigners.
Despite a public consultation and a petition containing some 4,000 names Post Office bosses pressed ahead with their plans to franchise the town’s branch, as first revealed in the Burnley Express in February last year.
Burnley Council leader Coun. Julie Cooper, who campaigned against the closure, said: “I think it is disgusting. The quality of service will undoubtedly suffer by this move. I understand only one employee is transferring so there will be a huge loss of experience.
“Smiths is far too small and I can foresee queues forming outside of the door. Yet again, it will be the most vulnerable, such as the elderly, that will suffer from this move.”
The new office will have five serving positions, a mixture of three screened and two open-plan counters. The same wide range of Post Office services will be available.
Roger Gale, Crown Network general manager, said: “We are committed to keeping a Post Office branch in Burnley and to maintaining the same levels of service for our customers. We believe the best way for us to do this is to change the way we operate it, so it will be run by WHSmith High Street Ltd rather than by us directly.”
New opening hours will result in nine and a half extra hours of service every week, including the addition of four hours of service on Sundays.