Highland MSP Claims Fort William Post office Plans are a Downgrading

Highlands and Islands Regional Labour MSP Peter Peacock has written to the Director of Postwatch Scotland over plans to close the Crown Post Office at Fort William and relocate services within the local shop premises of WH Smith. He says the plans represent a downgrading of local services.

Mr Peacock said: "I believe the plans amount to a downgrading of postal services.

"This is an issue causing considerable concern in the Lochaber area, with local people very sceptical about the ability of the proposed new arrangements to meet customer requirements.

"This is particularly true during peak summer times when business can increase very substantially.

"Many of the points identified to date by Postwatch Scotland mirror points which I have already raised.

"In particular, I have highlighted strong local misgivings over:-

The physical space available at the new site.
Whether staff can be successfully transferred with no loss of their expertise and can their pension rights be protected?

Concerns that queuing times will lengthen.
The adequacy of access for disabled people.
Can the current range and level of postal services be guaranteed in the long-term?

"Many people, myself included, have real concern over the proposals for using the basement of WH Smith to deliver postal services.

"This appears to be a downgrading of the overall service and raises questions as to whether the lift system giving access can cope with peak queueing periods."

Mr Peacock added: " I have urged Postwatch Scotland to take a robust approach to the Fort William proposal and if not entirely satisfied on the points raised, strongly object when lodging their submissions.

"What is essential for the public in Fort William and the surrounding area is that there is no diminution of the current level of postal services and to secure an enhancement if possible."


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