Criticism for Royal Mail as closure dates of collection offices are revealed (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Shipley, Bingley and Thornton offices to close down under Post Office proposals
The closure dates for Royal Mail collection offices in Shipley, Bingley and Thornton in Bradford, have been revealed, amid criticism that an alternative collection point for Bingley is highly unsuitable.
In a letter to Bradford Council the company has revealed the Bingley office will close first on November 3, with Bradford West next on January 26, and finally Shipley on February 23.
However, people wanting to pick up undelivered parcels in these areas in the future will face differing routes.
An alternative point has been arranged for those living in the Bingley area, who will be able to collect undelivered parcels and signed for letters and parcels at Eldwick Post office in Otley Road – some distance and a steep climb from the town centre.
Otherwise those in the Bradford West and Shipley areas will have to travel to the Bradford North delivery office on Inkersley Road near the city centre.
Bingley Conservative Councillor, David Heseltine, said that the vast majority of Bingley residents would find the choice of Eldwick as “highly inconvenient” and that it was “beyond belief”.
“If you are a mother in Crossflatts with two kids and a push chair, you will have to get a bus into Bingley a bus into Eldwick, which is going to be half a day’s job. Woe betide anyone having to go into Bradford for their post.
“This will particularly hit people using public transport – some of the elderly people don’t have cars as well as some of the younger ones. It will be massively inconvenient.
“What they could have done is look for somewhere central in Bingley town, where an arrangement could be made for people to pick up their post – maybe even the post office. They seem to have found the farthest away post office for people in Bingley.”
In the letter to Council chief executive Tony Reeves, Royal Mail group public affairs manager Michael Hogg reiterates all customers in these areas will still be able to arrange for redelivery or for their parcel to be delivered to another address in the same postcode area for free.
An existing service for delivery to a local post office branch could also be used by those unable to make it to the Bradford North office, but this incurs a £1.50 charge. In addition the company has recently introduced a service where delivery can be made to a neighbour.
Shipley Green Councillor Martin Love described Royal Mail’s response to the Council as “glib and condescending” and described charging to pick up post as “ridiculous”.
He said: “Getting post delivered to a neighbour is one thing but some people don’t know their neighbours. What if you are new to an area? It would be impractical and some people would feel uncomfortable about it.
“Picking up mail from a local post office is fine – it might benefit some people – but not if you have to pay for it. That is ridiculous. People have paid for postage and it is outrageous that they should pay again.”
Mr Hogg states in his letter: “Our modernisation is one of the largest change management programmes happening in the UK. Every process is being changes.
“This means automating the handling of mail; changing delivery methods so our people can handle the changing mix of mail more safely; and motorising delivery so heavier parcels can be accommodated in our core network.
“As part of this programme we will be merging and relocating delivery offices. Hence this will see the relocation of the Bingley, Shipley and Bradford West delivery offices in the Bradford Metropolitan area. These delivery offices will relocate into Bradford North over the coming months.”
He added this would not result in a loss of jobs and the decision was taken on commercial grounds to enable the company to maintain the “cherished universal service”.
When asked why Eldwick had been chosen over the town centre branch, Royal Mail spokesman Felicity MacFarlane said: “Eldwick was chosen as the town centre post office does not have enough available space to accommodate the storage of Bingley packets.”
Last month Royal Mail confirmed the three delivery office sites were up for sale.
The issue will be discussed by members of the Council’s corporate overview committee at its meeting next Thursday which takes place from 5.30pm at Bradford City Hall.