Readers have had mixed reactions to the proposal to close Worthing’s Counter Post Office in Chapel Road and open a branch in the WHSMith in South Street.
The Post Office said the move, which would come into effect in March 2019, would be ‘the most effective way to secure the long term viability of Post Office services in Worthing’.
READ MORE: https://www.worthingherald.co.uk/news/proposal-to-move-worthing-post-office-to-whsmith-announced-1-8706653|Proposal to move Worthing Post Office to WHSmith announced}
It added that the ‘vast majority’ of its 11,500 Post Office branches are operated with retail partners.
The Royal Mail, which owns the building currently used by the Post Office in Chapel Road, said: “Royal Mail will consider its options for the space if the Post Office vacates the premises.
“We have no current plans to relocate Worthing delivery office to another site.”
The Post Office said the new branch at WHSmith would operate from a newly built dedicated open plan Post Office area on the ground floor.
A public consultation has been launched, with the Post Office seeking feedback and comments which will help inform its plans.
Reacting to the news yesterday, some of our readers feared the new branch would not be able to cope with demand.
Tim Nicholls said: “Dreadful idea. When it’s really busy the Post Office has queues despite the help yourself part. No room in Smith’s.”
Janet Skinner said: “What ever next they can’t cope at the Post Office as it is. How on earth do they expect smiths to manage the queues things are going from bad to worse!”
Jayne Melhuish said: “I think WHsmith is too small to house the counter for the Post Office, it always is very busy and never seems to have enough staff.
“I think the Post Office should stay where it is. It is well used and is easy to get to.”
Deborah Carter said: “It would be a shame to lose some ofthe main Post Office services when it moves to the WHSmiths store and presumably we will have to trot up the road if we need to collect parcels as well.
“Not great for disabled customers if they use both Post Office and parcel collections, where to park?” Lesley Anne Mates said: “Even harder to just park and run into. Why change something that works.”
But some said it was a logical decision.
Austin Bubb said: “Top floor of WHSmith makes total sense and this allows the sorting office to grow with Worthing with all its new developments. I’m all for it.”
Ken Rowley said: “For the counter services makes sense, then the existing PO building can focus on parcels, sorting, collection of parcels and stuff.”
Other readers accepted that the move was inevitable.
Gary Mann said: “My grandad worked there from when he came back from the war till he retired. Shame to see it go, but if its uneconomical to run and we still want a Post Office, we have to go with change.”
Sarah Rodriguez said: “I think the move is inevitable – most towns already have their Post Office counters located within High Street stores. It’s a shame, but a sign of the times.”
Mark Dallen said: “Will miss the post office building, lots of space and have always had very good service there.
“Commercially makes sense as that building must be worth a fortune! Not sure if WH Smith is big enough to cope during busy times.”
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