Demonstrations have been held this week in Carrington to save the local post office from closure. In the last fortnight, the Save Carrington Post Office Action Group has emerged and has been campaigning to keep the Carrington Post Office [CPO] open. They have urged people in the CPO's catchment area to write letters to the Post Office and Post Watch, asking for the CPO to be considered for further review after the public consultation. The action group has also delivered over 4,000 leaflets and its petition has collected 2000 signatures in just two weeks. In addition to carrying out its own branch assessment report, the group held a couple of demonstrations this week.
Futhermore, a wheelchair-using customer of the Post Office, attempted to travel to the two alternative post offices as suggested by the Post Office to see how accessible they really are. Doreen Sim, who has used CPO twice a week for the last twenty years to pay her bills and collect her pension, says the current journey takes her just 5 minutes from her home along all level terrain and wide pavements...
Articles: Save Carrington Post Office Demo Pictures (Saturday) | Save Carrington Post Office Demo Pictures (Tuesday) | Save Carrington Post Office: March to MPs Office with Petition | Save Carrington Post Office!
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The two alternative post offices; Sherwood and Beech Avenue are both almost 30 minutes away and both have accessibility issues which include steep inclines/declines, narrow pavements blocked by litter bins, no bus routes between Carrington and Beech Avenue and there is a step at the entrance of the Sherwood branch.
Doreen said: "As a regular customer of Carrington Post Office I am very interested in finding out if the Post Office's assertion that the Beech Avenue and Sherwood Post Offices are viable alternatives for wheelchair users such as myself are correct. Personally I believe that it will be impossible for me to use either of the suggested alternatives which will mean that I can't draw my pension or pay my bills and will have to stop being a Post Office customer. I am very concerned at the proposed closure of Carrington Post Office".
The Post Office restructure is all about creating a sustainable branch network. However, the branch access reports do not take into account the commercial viability or the social impact of individual branches.
The Save Carrington Post Office Action Group has weekly meetings, has carried out its own branch assessment report, created banners and written letters.
The key arguments to keep CPO open are:
- Carrington is a commercially viable branch.
- Serves a large catchment area which currently covers over 2,200 residential properties in the following areas: Carrington, Mapperley Park and parts of Sherwood, Woodborough Road, Sherwood Rise and the Arboretum.
- Sherwood branch already has long queues running down the high street causing obstructions and a nuisance to retailers and shoppers – should CPO close the queues and the elderly and those with small children would be made to wait for longer, sometimes in adverse weather conditions no shelter.
- The two alternative post offices; Sherwood and Beech Avenue are both almost 30 minutes away and both have accessibility issues which include steep inclines/declines, narrow pavements blocked by litter bins, no bus routes between Carrington and Beech Avenue and there is a step at the entrance of the Sherwood branch.
- CPOs many business customers will not be able to use the Beech Avenue branch as it closes at lunch time and will instead have to join the long queues at the already over-subscribed Sherwood branch.
- CPO is located in a parade of 14 small shops including a pharmacist, a florist and a newsagent. These form the lifeblood of the Carrington community but are likely to be adversely affected should passing trade from CPO diminish as customers instead use the Sherwood shops.
- CPO has a free-to-use ATM which is one of only two in an extensive area