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CAMPAIGNERS who lost a fight to save their Royal Mail delivery office have branded the decision “disgusting”.
Over 1,600 people signed Nat Pabla’s petition to stop Royal Mail moving its sorting office in Marlborough Road, South Woodford to Station Road in Chingford.
But despite their efforts the postal giant announced on Friday (February 10) that the move is set to go ahead in “summer or autumn” this year.
A Royal Mail spokesman said the 60-year-old South Woodford office does not have enough staff or customer parking, and the Chingford office can offer customers longer opening hours and better facilities.
They claimed no jobs will be lost and “detailed planning” will ensure a smooth transition.
In a statement they said: “Royal Mail acknowledges the interest that the proposed relocation has raised within the community.
“While we welcome feedback from customers, we need to modernise our operations and provide better and fit for purpose facilities for our customers and our people.”
But Ms Pabla, who has lived in Grove Hill for 16 years, says Royal Mail has ignored the community’s concerns.
She said: “It’s a service well used by everyone – by me, my family, friends, and neighbours.
“It’s so conveniently located, it made absolutely no sense to close it.
“They never actually came to South Woodford to talk to us.
“So they haven’t listened to the strength of feeling, despite what they might say.”
Ms Pabla added she suspects many of her neighbours will refuse to make the 3.6-mile journey to Chingford and start using private delivery companies instead.
Liberal Democrat Cllr for Roding Gwyneth Deakins shares her concerns, branding the move “disgusting and disappointing”.
She said: “They are making no pretence of wanting to provide a public service, they only care about money.
“I’m going to ask if they can arrange a delivery collection point in South Woodford in a shop or a newsagent like other courier companies do.
“The thought of trekking to Chingford is too awful to contemplate for anyone – let alone the disabled, less mobile, or those without cars.”
Her Labour colleague Cllr Lloyd Duddridge added: “This is a decision that will only make the lives of my residents more difficult.
“The sorting office was a great convenience in the age of internet shopping.
“I know the unions are not happy with this economically motivated choice, and I am not happy about it either.”
MP for Chingford and Woodford Green Iain Duncan Smith has also expressed concern the Chingford office will not be able to cope with added demand.
A Royal Mail spokesman said: "The building that currently houses South Woodford delivery office is old and no longer meets our requirements as we now handle more parcels and fewer letters.
"We also need more space to park our Royal Mail vans that are used to deliver customers’ mail.
"Moving our South Woodford delivery operations to Chingford will enable us to offer better facilities for our customers and our people."