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.