Mobile Post Office could cause 'Chaos'

Friday, 24 April, 2009

Plans to axe a village post office and replace it with an outreach van on a busy road have been condemned as 'an accident waiting to happen'.
David Ruffley, MP for Stowmarket, has criticised Post Office Ltd's decision to site a mobile outreach service in Broadfields Road, Gislingham.

He said the road, which leads to Gislingham Primary School, already suffered from congestion and the van would create further traffic and safety issues for pedestrians.

Mr Ruffley said: "The opening hours of the mobile post office will coincide with the youngest children leaving Gislingham Primary School at midday, causing even more congestion in Broadfields Road. This is an accident waiting to happen."

He said Post Office Ltd's decision was based on the site already being used by the mobile library.

"One Gislingham resident told me the mobile library causes 'absolute chaos' when it is in Broadfields Road for 20 minutes every two weeks. So I dread to think what it will be like once the mobile post office is up and running for two hours every weekday."

Mr Ruffley is now seeking the views of Suffolk Police over the safety issues.

Last month, Post Office Ltd agreed to re-site the mobile unit from Westview Gardens to Broadfields Road, following consultation with villagers.

But Terry Williams, parish council clerk, said it had been just one of a number of suggestions made.

"Ideally, we would like Gislingham Post Office to stay but we know that is not going to happen," he said,

He added it would only take one car to park outside the mobile van to block the road.

"If there is an emergency at the school it will be impossible to access and residents could easily be blocked from accessing their driveways," he said.

In response to a letter by Mr Ruffley, Laura Tarling, concept delivery adviser for Post Office Ltd, said: "As Post Office Ltd was responding to the suggestions of the local community, there is not a requirement for us to consult again."