City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Post office closure programme - Edinburgh, the Lothians and South of Scotland


By Editor - Posted on 24 October 2008

Post office closure
programme - Edinburgh, the Lothians and South of Scotland

Post Office Ltd's six week
public consultation on post office closures in Edinburgh, the Lothians and
South of Scotland finished on the 29 September 2008.  Post Office Ltd
(POL) originally proposed to close 58 branches in this area, leaving in place a network of 265 post offices. Of the 58 closures, 32 were to be replaced
by outreach services - offered from a mobile van, hosted, partner or home
service. None of these post offices will close until its outreach replacement
is in place. Full details of Post Office Ltd's decision can be found on
the ‘current public consultations' webpage of www.postoffice.co.uk/networkchange.

Postwatch Scotland scrutinised each of Post
Office Ltd's proposals, encouraged customers to engage in the
consultation process, and worked to ensure Post Office Ltd took into account
responses submitted.

Further meetings were held with POL
where we discussed all of the cases with which we had concerns. Postwatch Scotland cannot
veto any proposal and the final decision always lies with Post office Ltd.

Postwatch Scotland is pleased that
as a result of our advocacy Post Office Ltd has withdrawn the proposed closures
of Elm Row, 20 Elm Row, Edinburgh, EH7 4AA and Calder Crossway, 10 Calder Park,
Edinburgh, EH11 4JN.  We also persuaded Post Office Ltd to improve a number of
the outreach services from what was originally proposed.

In addition Post Office Ltd has
agreed to ensure its capacity and staffing levels are appropriate in those post
offices where we had concerns that the quality of service would decline when
more customers were using them.

Post Office Ltd is now proposing to
close the following alternative branch:

  • Oxgangs,
    8 Oxgangs Broadway, Edinburgh, EH13

This new closure proposal will be
subject to a six week public consultation, starting on 4 November 2008 and concluding
on 15 December 2008.

We welcome Post Office Ltd's
commitment to undertake a number of improvements to remaining post offices in
the area.

The total number of outright post
offices closures in Edinburgh, the Lothians and South of Scotland is 56, 32 of
which will have a replacement outreach service, leaving net closures at 24.  We
recognise that some communities will inevitably be extremely disappointed that
POL has decided to proceed with the closure of their post office.  However, we
are satisfied that POL has fulfilled Government criteria and taken into account
submissions from postal users and stakeholders when making their final
decision.

We would like to thank you at this
time for forwarding your submission to us. This was extremely helpful in our
discussions with Post Office Ltd. We should now advise that Postwatch
Scotland's role ends with Post Office Ltd's announcement except for
the further consultation on the alternative branch proposed for closure.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Alan
Alexander FRSE

Chair, Postwatch Scotland

(now part of Consumer Focus Scotland)

Irene Mitchell

Executive, Postwatch Scotland (now
part of Consumer Focus)

9-10 St Andrew Square

Edinburgh

EH2 2AF

0131 718 6509

irene.mitchell@consumerfocus.org.uk