Lendal Post Office move confirmed

Lendal Post Office

The Post Office has confirmed that the Lendal Post Office will move to the W H Smith store on Coney Street.

The Lendal Office will close at 17:30 on Wednesday 4th April 2019. The new unit will open at 9:00am on Thursdays 4th April.

In a letter to objectors the Post Office says it received 571 responses from customers. Only 12 members of the public attended a “customer forum” event held on 19th December.

The letter goes on to say that the main objections to their plans centred around

  • Getting to the new location (it is in the pedestrian area)
  • Access within the WH Smith building
  • Concerns about customer service standards
  • Concerns about a potential loss in the range of services available (the Post Office confirms that Visa issue for visitors will not be available. The cash machine will also be removed)
  • The future of existing staff
  • The future of the War Memorial which is currently located in the Lendal building. (The Post Office say that it will be relocated following further consultation).

There was a certain inevitability about this decision given the parlous state of Post Office Limited’s finances. The publicly owned body has been under pressure from MPs to break even some years.

Nevertheless, there will be disappointment that the company has not been prepared to publish key performance stats. Potential customers have a right to know how long they may have to wait to be served at the 5 new counter positions which are promised.

The additional footfall near WH Smith may have one good outcome. That part of Coney Street has been in decline for several years with many shop units now empty. Hopefully the additional footfall will encourage more investment in what once was York’s premier shopping street.

There is lesson for the York Council as well. Tomorrow they discuss the future of the Guildhall offices. The buildings are adjacent to the Post Office.

The area needs a comprehensive conservation, access and modernisation plan.

Closure of Lendal Post Office gets mixed response

A local MPs reaction, to news that Post-Office services will be transferred about 200 metres to a site within W H Smiths on Coney Street, has provoked a mixed reaction. A photo of a local Councillor giving the clench fist salute at an anti-Post Office street rally, raised concerns that this might be the precursor to barricades being erected in the streets, accompanied by loud singing of the “Internationale”

The MP was pictured pasting a “protestcard” in a dummy pillar box (apparently oblivious to the fact the Royal Mail has been a separate business for many years).

But she may have a point.

The Post Office’s “on line” consultation seems to be less than transparent. It refers to the introduction of 7 day a week services at the new site (good) but singularly fails to say what services will be provided there.

Lendal Post Office

It merely says

 “A wide range of services would still be available at the (new) branch”.

So not all services will transfer then?

We have written to the Post Office asking them to clarify which services, currently provided at the Lendal office, will not be available at the Smiths branch, and where the nearest alternative customer access point is located?

Without this information, customers can’t possibly respond to the Post Office questionnaire which asks whether people will be inconvenienced by the move.

We have also asked the Post Office to provide quality of service stats for their present Lendal operation.

For example, mean and maximum queuing times?

We think that the Post Office should also publish customer quality of service targets for any new branch.

WHSmith

If they don’t provide more information, then we may have to look out an old songbook.

How does it go,

This is our final and decisive battle;
With the Internationale humanity will rise up!

..although possibly, being York, that might only involve a slightly heated exchange on “twitter”?