Post office could close in weeks

ELDERLY residents on a Suffolk estate could be forced to walk more than two miles to collect their pension after speculation emerged over the closure of a second post office branch in a matter of weeks.

ELDERLY residents on a Suffolk estate could be forced to walk more than two miles to collect their pension after speculation emerged over the closure of a second post office branch in a matter of weeks.

News of the alleged plan to close the Valley Way Post Office in Newmarket has shocked the local community coming so soon after the closure of the Cheveley Road branch, despite desperate attempts from residents to save it.

Last night, west Suffolk MP Richard Spring said he was dismayed and enraged to discover the Valley Way Post Office could be under threat due to the Post Office Ltd's network reinvention plans for West Suffolk.

Mr Spring, who was alerted to the news by a letter from regional head George Hooper, said: "This means that two out of three of the sub-post offices in the expanding town of Newmarket are going to shut.


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"It is an intolerable attack on the support structures of local communities in Newmarket and it will be particularly unwelcome to those with mobility problems, including elderly people and those with young children.

"I can rarely recall a sequence of events in my 12 years as Newmarket's Member of Parliament that has made me so angry."

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Newmarket town councillor Donald Levick, who had not heard the rumours until yesterday, said he believes it will be a disastrous move for the area if the closure goes ahead.

"Valley Way has been my local post office for 28 years and I am totally shocked by the news," he said.

"These sub-post offices are the heart of the community and I know there are a lot of elderly people living in this area, who could now be left in a very difficult position.

"There is a bus service to the town centre but it costs 50p each way and the only other alternative is to walk two and half miles.

"I think there will be a lot of angry residents when news of the possible closure gets out and I will fully support any campaigns that may start as a result."

A spokesman for Post Offices Ltd said they could not confirm the proposed closure of the Valley Road branch until the network reinvention plans for West Suffolk had been finalised.

A public consultation period for the proposals will run from February 18 until the end of March, when any decisions on the future of individual branches will be made. Any closures will take place in May this year.

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