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Ipswich Star poll confirms overwhelming lack of faith in plans to move Sailmakers Post Office to WHSmith

PUBLISHED: 06:05 07 October 2016

WHSmith in Ipswich, which could get a Post Office.

WHSmith in Ipswich, which could get a Post Office.

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Plans to move Ipswich's main Post Office from Sailmakers to the first floor of WHSmith have been overwhelmingly condemned by shoppers.

The Post Office in Sailmakers Shopping CentreThe Post Office in Sailmakers Shopping Centre

A poll run on the Ipswich Star website yesterday resulted in 86% of the 222 participants being against the proposal, while 11% (25 people) were in favour. Just 3% were undecided.

But despite the early criticism of the plans, the Post Office refused to rule out that the plans could still go ahead if the consultation attracted a similar level of disapproval.

A Post Office spokeswoman said: “When the consultation closes we will look at all the feedback before making a decision. If people do not support the move then we want to hear from them why, for example, do they think it would prove a more difficult journey for them? Are there concerns about local transport/ access to the proposed new branch or within it?

“We are proposing the move so that services can be safeguarded into the future. If people have concerns we would welcome them raising these through the consultation process, so that we get the right level of detail.”

The six week consultation period began on Wednesday and is seeking views from shoppers on issues such as accessibility, transport provision and community issues before a final decision is made.

The plans unveiled on Wednesday revealed that two self-service kiosks would remain, but the number of counters would be reduced from five to four.

Shoppers and online readers on Wednesday raised concerns over how accessible the Post Office would be in WHSmith, with particular concerns raised for older and disabled customers who may be unable to use the stairs.

A Post Office spokeswoman said the store’s lift could cater for 13 people, while alternative provisions were also in place for if the lift is out of order.

If plans go ahead, the Post Office is aiming to move in March next year.

Mike Sorhaindo, Sailmakers centre manager said that the centre’s footfall was up on last year, and added: “While we will be disappointed if the Post Office was to leave the centre, we have considerable interest from potential tenants and hope to announce two new arrivals shortly.”

The town’s main Post Office was previously located on the Cornhill where Lloyds TSB was housed in recent years, before being downsized to the then-named Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre.

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