Fears for future of Fowey's post services
RESIDENTS in Fowey could face a 17-mile round trip to tax their cars after the town's main post office closes, a sub-postmaster has warned.
The town's current Fore Street post office is set to close imminently – with no date yet set – and substantial changes to the services offered to residents could be on the cards as a result.
If moves aren't made to add extra services to Fowey's Park Road sub-post office, then residents will be faced with a trip outside the town's boundaries to undertake tasks such as taxing the car.
At present moves are being made to put an over-the-counter 'Post Office Local' within an existing shop in Fowey, but with this comes more loss of services, including business cash deposits, currency exchange and any transactions over £500.
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Park Road postmaster Carl Smith said he hoped that if services were lost within the town his sub-office could soften the blow.
"Park Road Post Office would welcome any new services that Post Office Ltd thinks we can offer the public," he said.
"If at any stage they are lost in the town we're here for the community and will support them as much as we're allowed to do."
Alongside the closure of the town-centre post office, the local sorting office looks likely to be relocated to St Austell.
Fowey residents would then have to go there to collect missed parcels and recorded delivery items.
Town councillor Anne Boosey said: "I'm sure that everyone who lives in Fowey will be as shocked as I was when I heard the news that the Royal Mail was planning on closing Fowey Post Office. I assume that apart from saving money there can be no other reason for it.
"It totally ignores the fact that this is a service that many people in Fowey rely on, and going to St Austell to pick up a parcel is quite a trip if you miss your postman, particularly if you have to rely on public transport.
"While I understand Royal Mail is trying to locate a 'service counter' somewhere else in Fowey, and that we're very lucky to have Park Road Post Office, this doesn't help the residents in the centre of town, nor the thousands of visitors who come every year.
"What will we see in its place? Another upmarket clothes shop?"
More and more post offices are being turned into Post Office Locals – an estimated 6,000 nationwide – and were the same to happen to the Park Road Post Office, a further loss of service would result.
It is also possible Park Road could become Fowey's main post office.
Residents are being urged to contact Post Office Ltd and tell it there is a demand in the town for a post office offering full services.
In March, Post Office Ltd announced that it was committing itself to no further programmes of branch closures in an effort to maintain the network at its current size.
A Post Office spokeswoman said: "We're committed to maintaining services and finding a new location for Fowey's post office branch and are exploring opportunities for us to do so.
"Once a suitable location is found, and before any decision is made, there will be a full public consultation on the proposed new site."