Residents in Telegraph Hill are angry about the relocation of New Cross Gate post office claiming customers will face longer queues and a downgraded service.
The post office will move from its existing building on New Cross Road into a shop a few doors away next month – part of nationwide closures of dedicated Crown branches, as the company seeks to reduce its costs.
Residents mounted a campaign to stop the move and say the new premises within a shop will be cramped and inconvenient.
In a meeting with the post office earlier this month, also attended by the local MP Vicky Foxcroft, locals raised their concerns about whether the new site will have enough room for wheelchairs and a free ATM.
They also said queues for the counter service will spill out onto the busy street outside.
Kirsten Downer, a resident of New Cross, told ELL: “Lack of space and staff will inevitably mean queues. These already happen in the existing post office which has a large forecourt so there’s enough room for them.”
They also condemned the way the public consultation was carried out by Post Office Ltd, arguing that it did not address any of the issues the local community brought before the consultation committee.
Alberto Bianchi, a resident in Pepys Road, said he worried that the new site will see people queuing for cash at the counters, due to the lack of an ATM.
Another resident, Sue Amaradivakara, warned that queues will spill out of the shop onto the busy street outside.
Labour councillor, Paul Bell, has also raised concerns about the future of the branch in its new site, which has a franchise contract for five years. “There is no guarantee even the downgraded services would remain after five years,” he said on his website.
The Post Office said the new premises will be completely refurbished and services will operate from a “dedicated area”.
“There will be sufficient space and access for our customers, including those who use wheelchairs – we have stringent standards about this,” a spokeswoman said.
She said there will be four serving positions and that, “services will be unchanged and available for longer hours.”
“There will be an automatic door and a ramp will be installed, aisles will be sufficiently wide. Plans also include low-level counters, PIN pads, hearing loops and customer seating. There will be four serving positions.”
The Post Office said, “Services will be unchanged and available for longer hours.”