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Concerns over ‘large void’ as Tesco and Post Office to leave Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 11:15 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:21 11 January 2019

Tesco Express, Bramford Road.

Picture: ARCHANT

Tesco Express, Bramford Road. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Councillors have advised against the closure of a Tesco Express and Post Office which would leave residents without vital resources.

Supermarket giants Tesco announced that the Westbourne Express store in Bramford Road will shut its doors permanently on March 16, 2019.

In addition to the store, the Post Office branch and ATM inside the building will also shut, leaving a community in the west Ipswich devoid of vital resources.

One resident has lived opposite the shop for 31 years, first when the show was run as a One Stop and then as a Tesco’s.

Wishing to remain anonymous, he said: “Losing the Tesco’s, Post Office and ATM facilities will leave a large void in the local area.

“On occasions the line for the tills and self checkout would form halfway down the aisle, so it was popular.

“The Post Office was also busy with queues forming on certain days, and the ATM was in a busy area and, as far as I am aware, had never been vandalised or tampered with.

“It would be nice to have an identical type of outlet replace it, but with Aldi building a new supermarket in Europa Way, I doubt that will happen.

“What I will not miss is the delivery lorries waking us up most mornings rolling the cages on and off the tail lifts - but the convenience made up for that.”

Tesco say that it was a “difficult decision” to close the store and will look to offer workers other roles in their nearby shops.

However, local councillors are worried that those relying on the Bramford Road services will be the hardest hit.

They will continue to fight against the closures and will speak to Tesco asking them to reconsider.

Martin Goonan, an Ipswich Borough Councillor for Whitehouse ward said: “Losing an ATM and Post Office will have a negative effect on our area and we urge Tesco not to do this.

“We have also had a change to the bus route that passes by which we fought against.

“We will be talking to Tesco and continuing our work with Ipswich Buses to make sure residents in this ward can access they need her and further into town.”

Another representative of the Whitehouse ward, Glen Chisholm indicated that Tesco’s desires to relocate the staff would also have a huge affect.

He said: “It’s really disappointing for the staff, some of them live locally but could now end up working anywhere in the town.

“Losing the Post Office in Whitehouse means it’s a reasonable trek to the next one.”

Following a review, Tesco said it had made the decision to close the shop.

A spokesman said: “We have worked very hard to improve the performance of the store, but this was ultimately unsuccessful.”

The closure will also see the loss of the Adair Road Post Office to the community but the Post Office claim that they will look to maintain services in the area.

A Post Office spokesman, said: “We can confirm that Tesco have given us notice that the store which houses Adair Road Post Office is due to close, this means the premises will be withdrawn from Post Office use.

“We understand how important a Post Office can be to a community and would like to reassure customers we are working hard to look for a way to continue offering Post Office services from 16th March.

“Any retailer or small business owner interested in running the Post Office and incorporating it into their business should email NTquestions@postoffice.co.uk or visit www.runapostoffice.co.uk.”

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