MP calls for residents to speak up as plans to move Basingstoke Post Office are announced

Post Office today announced proposals to relocate Basingstoke Post Office in London Road away from the current site to WHSmith store in Old Basing Mall. The announcement comes as part of a new deal with WHSmith to relocate up to 40 Post Offices into WHSmith stores in 2019, and for WHSmith to take over the running, on a franchise basis.
 
The proposed relocation will be subject, to six-week local public consultation which will seek the views of local customers and stakeholders in line with Post Office’s Principles of Community Engagement. Dates will be announced when detailed plans are available.
 
Maria said “The post office on London Road is part of the fabric of the town and hub of activity at the top of town. Whilst many residents now use Post Office services online and where they are located in local shops, the central location of Basingstoke's main post office makes it a valuable asset in the town. If this is to move to WHSmith’s in Shopping centre, then this could adversely impact the top of town.
 
" Residents need to speak up and make their views heard as part of the PO consultation. I am particularly concerned that the town doesn't lose services currently on offer if changes are made.”
 
Cllr Terri Reid, Deputy Leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council said, “This is a hugely concerning development. A move away from a dedicated Post Office to a franchised offer within a shop must surely mean a diminution of services and longer queues.
 
The post office at the top of town is accessible by public transport and by car, and parking is free for the first hour there. Parking is not free in the Malls or Festival Place which therefore means reduced accessibility for those on lower incomes. And of course, this has huge implications for footfall at the Top of Town.