Fight begins to save post offices

CAMPAIGNS are being mounted across Ipswich to save the town's threatened post offices.Last week The Evening Star revealed how a petition was being mounted to save the Wherstead Road Branch.

CAMPAIGNS are being mounted across Ipswich to save the town's threatened post offices.

Last week The Evening Star revealed how a petition was being mounted to save the Wherstead Road Branch.

And now customers of Barrack Corner post office are following suit.

The two outlets are lined up for the chop alongside Felixstowe Road, Ruskin Road, St John's, and Ulster Avenue.

Royal Mail chiefs have promised to listen to public concerns during a six-week consultation period.

Shop owner Julie Welham said she was determined to save Barrack Corner. And she will be handing out petitions to her customers to support the campaign.

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She said: "It should stay open. I do a lot of mail order and it would be such a trek down to the nearest post office with parcels in my arms.

"The nearest bank is the TSB in Bramford Road. It takes me at least half an hour to walk there and back and that's walking fast.

"It would be at least an hour for an elderly person and they would have to negotiate all the traffic on the way there.

"It definitely wouldn't be safe for them - even I feel vulnerable taking my money down to the bank."

Mrs Welham said petitions would be available to anyone coming into Julie's Afro Hair Supplies and she was hoping other stores in Norwich Road would join the campaign.

Margaret Parsons, 72, of Spring Road, is seeking local church support in her campaign to save St John's post office.

And she is fearful for the many elderly residents living nearby in Shaftsbury House, St John's Court, Sycamore House and Servite House.

She said: "We were told we could get a bus to within 50 yards of Brunswick Road post office, but I rang the bus station and there's no direct service.

"It would take at least half an half to walk all the way up there and even longer for anyone a few years older than me.

"I've got an 83-year-old neighbour who is very upset about it."

Petition forms and posters demanding the post office are on show in the nearby Cauldwell Hall Road Co-op - another demonstration of local opposition.

Ipswich Borough Council is also getting involved and is "seeking changes" to the Post Office's plans, Philip Smart, executive member of the council said.

"This council is very concerned about difficulties faced by customers, particularly the elderly and those with disabilities, and we want to ensure their views are taken into account by senior managers before any decisions are made," he said.

N What do you think of the proposed post office closures? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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