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More details unveiled at drop-in afternoon on planned Ipswich Post Office move from Sailmakers to WHSmith

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 November 2016

WH Smith in Ipswich, which could get a Post Office

WH Smith in Ipswich, which could get a Post Office

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Fresh details have emerged on controversial plans to move Ipswich's main Post Office from the Sailmakers shopping centre to the upstairs of the WHSmith in Westgate Street.

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

Yesterday afternoon, Post Office held a drop-in afternoon at the Town Hall for people to ask questions, see more detailed plans and share their views.

Only one person had attended during the first hour, although final numbers attending are not yet clear.

More details were unveiled at the meeting in which consultation officers confirmed improvements would be made to the lift and aisles widened to give people a clear path to the Post Office counters.

Plans available for viewing also revealed the Post Office would be located on the first floor in the far corner, currently occupied by the children’s books and history section, instead of in the vacated Costa section.

Public affairs manager Richard Hall said: “What we plan is on the ground floor the route to the lift will be accessible, and improved so it is clear aisles to get to those.

“The lift is being upgraded to make sure it is reliable, and a clear route upstairs to the counters.”

At the session, Post Office representatives said no staff would be lost and all the existing services and opening times would remain, although the number of open plan counters would be reduced to three alongside self service machines.

The plans came under fire from customers when it was first announced last month citing key concerns over accessibility for people with mobility issues and movement away from its own unit having a negative impact.

Ipswich Borough Council’s executive also outlined its rejection of the plan on similar grounds.

But Post Office bosses have said the move would safeguard the future of services in town.

“The reason we are doing it is because it reduces our property costs and makes our branch sustainable for the future,” Mr Hall added.

“It is about remaining in the heart of the retail area where our customers are.”

The consultation finishes on Wednesday next week, after which the Post Office will collate feedback.

A final decision is expected by the middle of December.

To share your views email comments@postoffice.co.uk or call 03457 223344.

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