Post offices: Worst fears are confirmed

A community's worst fears were confirmed this week as it was announced that a Thetford post office branch was to close.The Post Office announced that Nuns' Bridges Filling Station was one of 66 across Norfolk and west Suffolk to lose its service following a review of its structure.

A community's worst fears were confirmed this week as it was announced that a Thetford post office branch was to close.

The Post Office announced that Nuns' Bridges Filling Station was one of 66 across Norfolk and west Suffolk to lose its service following a review of its structure. Also earmarked for closure are post offices at the Fox Inn at Honington, Caston, East Wretham, Griston and Sporle, while Beachamwell becomes an outreach service.

The closure of the Nuns' Bridges facility, which has been at the Bury Road garage for seven years, will mean that local residents will have to travel two miles to the nearest branch in Thetford town centre.

Objectors, including Thetford Town Council had argued that the main post office in King Street already received lengthy queues. But Post Office Ltd yesterday confirmed that the Nuns' Bridges branch will close on August 11.

Steve Jones, owner of the filling station, said: “I think people are disappointed, but they [the Post Office] need to make a profit and that is the way of the world. It is progress, but it is a sad day for us. We are taking the opportunity to use the extra space to provide a better convenience store at the petrol station.”

Only three of the 69 branches in Norfolk and west Suffolk proposed for closure will remain open as planned - Beeston, near Dereham, New Buckenham, near Attleborough and Vauxhall Street, in Norwich.

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During the six week local public consultation, Post Office Ltd received more than 4,600 responses and attended 28 meetings with customers and their representatives.

Laura Tarling, Post Office Ltd's network development manager for Norfolk and west Suffolk, said: “These are difficult decisions which have not been taken lightly. We have considered very carefully all the comments made during the public consultation. We believe that the amended plan announced today offers our customers across Norfolk and west Suffolk, the best prospect for a sustainable network in the future, bearing in mind the government's minimum access criteria and the other factors the government has asked us to consider.”

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